Saturday, April 14, 2012

The ultimate bucket list

The past month has flown by! The last time I posted we were in Michigan. That assignment was short lived. In fact only about a week after that post, we were finished and on the road again. The storm event didn't pay well, and with fuel costing way over $4.00 a gallon, we couldn't afford to do much sightseeing, but we did take the last two days to poke around Detroit just a tiny bit.

We visited The Henry Ford. I recommend the museum, especially if you have kids, boys in particular, and especially if those boys are interested in planes, trains, cars, ... pretty much anything with an engine or having to do with industry. It is a wonderful field trip covering the industrial revolution.  The F-150 assembly plant was interesting as well. I think my hubby enjoyed it more than I, but that's okay. It was his day. Mine would follow.
I HAD to take hubby's picture after we ate hot dogs at the Wienermobile Cafe inside the museum.
The next day was my day to do something I really wanted to do.

I guess the concept of a bucket list has been around for a long time, maybe since the beginning of time. I think it was made more popular though by the 2007 movie starting Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It is about two guys who make a list of all the things they want to do before they kick the bucket, and then set out to do them. If you haven't see it, you should. I think the idea of making a bucket list and accomplishing each of those things must be growing in popularity. I even found a website, another social media place, completely devoted to just that. It's called, no doubt, Bucketlist.

I don't have a formal bucket list. I've never actually sat down and written out a list of things I want to accomplish before I die. But I do have one, of sorts, tucked away in one of the back corners of my mind. I think I've mentioned here before that one of the things on that mental list is that I want to put my feet into all the major bodies of water surrounding the good ol' US of A.

So, since we were so close, hubby was kind enough to drive me to the edge of Lake Erie.
There's my feet in the water of Lake Erie.

Even though we experienced record heat for Michigan many of the days we were there, it was a cool, windy, and dreary day when we had opportunity to go to the lake. Naturally.
I know you are asking...Was the water cold? YOU BET YOUR BOTTOM BUTTON IT WAS! It took only a few seconds for my brain to register, "Girl, you are crazy!" And just a couple of seconds later my feet started  hurting. And then the sensation went a little past hurt into a bone deep OWWEEE! It's strange how quickly sharp cold pains can rush up your legs and force you to decide that, "Okay, I've been here long enough to put a big check mark on that bucket list!"
So now I've checked off:

  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Lake Michigan
  • Lake Ontario
  • Lake Erie
When I look at that photo and see how much gray hair is on that head, it makes me think maybe I should start writing my bucket list down--before I get REALLY old and forget what it is that I want to do before I die. It's obvious from those gray locks that I am running out of time.

I have decided there are a few problems with the whole bucket list idea. First, the longer I live, the more things I think of that I want to add to the list. That could be a good thing, I guess, because it can be motivation to keep on breathing. I can just hear myself telling St. Peter at the gate, "I can't die now! I still have seven things on my bucket list! No wait. Make that eight!"

If I am going for that feeling of accomplishment, you know, like, "Whew! Glad to have THAT to-do list done!" then constantly adding one more thing to the bottom of the list can get discouraging after a while. When it's time for me to go, I'm sure I'll have to go, ready or not. I would hate to spend eternity disappointed that I failed in getting 100% of my bucket list checked off. But if I keep it short, and I do get it all done before my time, what will I do to entertain myself for the rest of my life?

Another thing that is troublesome about a bucket list is that as I accomplish those feats, check off those dreams realized, I am forced to admit and embrace the fact that I am one day closer to the end of my earthly life. 

That's not so bad if you have stuff on your bucket list like, step in dog poo, have a tooth pulled without the use of any pain killers, or get hit by a speeding locomotive. (Make that the last thing on the list.) Those type things can make a person happy to see one more day gone by and be one step closer to the end. But no! We put fun and enjoyable things on that list. At least I do. Things that make me want to keep on living so I can add more stuff to the end of my list! It's a maddening cycle.

All this makes me think of what I would call the ultimate bucket list. It belonged to a man named Simeon. As far as I know he had at least one very awesome thing on his list.
Luke 2:25-27 (NLT)
25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him
26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
Wow! Can you imagine?

God's people were in the clutches and service of the Romans. They longed to be free and to live once again as a nation favored by God. And here is an old man who wanted to see only one thing before he died. He wanted to see the Savior. He wanted to know that God was finally going to come and rescue his people.

Luke 2:27-32 (NLT)
27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required,
28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.
30 I have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared for all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”  
 With the help of the Holy Spirit, Simeon was able to put a big check mark on his bucket list. He was happy. He was satisfied that there was nothing else to add to the bottom of his list.  He was ready to die in peace, knowing what he had eagerly waited for would come to pass even beyond what he had imagined. He knew he had seen God's salvation for ALL people, not just the people of Israel.

I hope, some how, that the days ordained for me and my ever growing bucket list will work out evenly. But even if they do not, I know I will still be able die in peace because, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, I will be able to say that I have known God's Salvation. THAT, my friends, is the ultimate bucket list!


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