A few years ago my husband took me to see The Bucket List in the theater. The basic premise was that one man, diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, took off with a rich man and they finally did all of the things they had always wanted to do but never could.
It ended up being somewhat controversial, partly because of the way that the married man supposedly abandoned his family to have these experiences, but suddenly everyone started making a bucket list.
Something about this idea both pulls at and bothers me.
Making a bucket list makes me feel as if I need to control the experiences I have in my life. As if what God gives me and has planned for me are not enough. As if I'm not content with what I have.
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. ~ Romans 11:36
And that's not true. It's less true now than it has ever been.
I like where I am. My life is very, very good. God has blessed us strongly. I have a wonderful husband and two healthy, happy children who are best friends with each other. We have a roof over our heads that keeps us warm in the winter and (fairly) cool in the summertime. We even have extras like a fireplace and a big, shady backyard. Our cars both work and we have lots to eat and good friends nearby. Best of all, with all of those things, is that I get to be home to care for my family. I love this stage in my life.
Then a few weeks ago I joined this new website called Pinterest. (If you're not a member, you can click on the red link to the right and get an invitation.) It's basically an online file cabinet that lets you share your files with other people. I joined (it's free) so that I could keep track of the projects and recipes and such that I see online that I want to tackle - but suddenly started seeing all of these wonderful things that other people are pinning, and a little part of me thought, "Oh, that looks beautiful! I want to go there/have that/do that/make that."
I suddenly felt less content with my simple, happy life. The bucket list concept popped back into my head and wouldn't go away.
... give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18
So I've been thinking a lot about that over the past few weeks, and I think I've gotten rid of that greedy weed that was trying to take over my heart.
But I've decided that it's okay to dream a little. I've realized that it's not the specific thing that I was seeing in these pictures that I wanted, but the peace or the time or the quality experience with my family that they represent, and I don't think those things are wrong.
After all, isn't it part of my job to look for opportunities to draw my family closer together, both to each other and to God?
So I've decided to make up a simple bucket list. I might get to do some of these things. I might not. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow - as my dad used to say - I wouldn't regret not doing any of these things. I'll just consider it icing if God does put them in my path.
And if He doesn't? He must have something better. That's okay, too.
I'll post some of my ideas soon ...