Life is fleeting, however it normally takes something severe to shake us up to a realisation of this. Ephesians tells us to “redeem the time” but do we put it into practice?
We only give a brief passing thought to our life when someone close to us dies, when we get severely ill or lose our job. Other times we just plod along creeping ever closer to the day we’ll be face to face with the King of Creation.
It’s a popular trend now days (for those who have been shaken up to the awareness of our frailty of life) to create a bucket list. In case you've been living in a vacuum or monastery for the last few years a bucket list is a list of things you would like to do before you die.
Some of the things that grace these bucket lists are to run a marathon, to go on a road trip, go skydiving, meet a certain celebrity, go swimming with sharks, to audition for something or to do all of the above naked.
Some even have a few philanthropic goals added to their lists but most are made up of things to bring personal pleasure or thrill to your life while you still have it. Anything that takes your fancy can grace a bucket list but should it all be about cheap thrills or should there be something deeper to it?
As Christians we are told not to live for selfish pleasures and those who do are “fattening themselves up for the slaughter” (James 5:5). So should our Christian bucket lists share anything in common with those of non-Christians?
Would going skydiving naked cause our Father in Heaven to say to us “well done my good and faithful servant”? I sincerely doubt it. Instead of having a list of mere things that take our fancy there are certain things that we must do in order to have a meaningful Christian life.
There are certain things that God has told us to do before we die and there are certain other things that would be good for our spiritual development. And it’s our spiritual development which is what our life in Christ is all about.
So here’s my suggestion of 10 things that could make your Christian Bucket List.
1) Surrender at least three of your worldly desires (or bad habits) to Christ.
2) Offend somebody for sharing your faith unashamedly.
3) Do something creative for the glory of God (writing, singing, craft, art, etc.).
4) Sing meaningful worship to God when nobody’s watching.
5) Give something to one person (who is not yourself or your immediate family) weekly.
6) Do an in depth study of at least one book of the Bible.
7) Dance in church.
8) Share your testimony in a public setting.
9) Visit someone in hospital, aged care or prison.
10) Write a letter to a stranger about the faith that is in you.
You can easily get more personal than this. My personal list consists of publishing a Christian young adult fiction book, writing a worship song in Chinese and making an evangelistic video.
But it’s not all about our personal desires and goals – it’s about fulfilling God’s will for our lives. We know what God’s will is and that is to do good to as many people as possible and share the gospel fruitfully.
So how are you stacking up? Is it about time to get your bucket list started?
Bridget Brenton is involved in Aboriginal and Islander based ministries, and enjoys tech stuff like making websites and making games in her spare time.
Bridget Brenton's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/bridget-brenton.html