Owlish Contemplations

Why Bucket Lists …


Me the forever list maker. Me the one who’s already had several bucket lists of all sizes … one for 2010 [“22 Things to do in 2010”], one for spring break, one for summer last year, one for summer this year, one for college, one for life … Me who always has to have something to do, to accomplish, to cross off … and then I come across this article written by favorite author & blogger, Ann Voskamp.

And she says these convicting words:

“Why does the list of want-to experiences continue to grow – instead of the list of thanks-for-this experiences?

“Why want more to fill our bucket – when I haven’t thanked God for all the ways He’s already filled my cup?

“Experiences are a grace, yes – but ultimately? Exhilaration isn’t in experiences, but in exalting Christ.

“Because the way to really live is not to try to fill your life up – but to spill your life out.”

I think about this for several days. I ponder the wisdom of it all. And I’m grateful that such words have sparked thought and debate within my mind – to make me question the way I live my life and make sure I’m living in a way that gives the most glory to God.

And I agree with Ann Voskamp … but at the same time, I also have to gently disagree.

For one who is living life completely for themselves, and wants experiences for their own personal satisfaction and the pride of accomplishments, then yes … I’d say, this blog post is exactly spot on. Life IS about so much more than a moment’s experience here and there if that’s all we have to show for our life at the end of it.

But when we live a life surrendered to Christ, asking Him to use us day-by-day, seeking His will and how we can most live for Him, then I think it’s perfectly fine to make two separate lists: the one drinking in all the ways He fills my cup every day – daily thanks for His constant graces – and the one that helps me enjoy life all the more.

Because for me, there is such joy in thinking of all the things I have yet to do and experience in this beautiful life that God has created. And I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with wanting to reach out and live life with our whole hearts – knowing that we can bring full glory to our Creator when we do these things for Him … not just for ourselves. When I ride a horse, read a book, send a message in a bottle, take a trip, learn something new, I can give thanks to God for all these beautiful things He’s created and for the opportunity to partake in them. And every time I choose to do something new I’ve never done before, I’m expanding this mind He’s given me and using it the way He intended me to.

Certainly these things I make lists out of are not the ultimates that I’m living for. Certainly I don’t believe that if they’re not accomplished, my life is wasted. And certainly there are other things in life far more beautiful and worthy – gifts that He chooses to give that are unexpected or unimagined. But while I can, I feel that these little ways I can delight in life give all the glory to my Savior … because this is who He’s made me to be. And perhaps the highest thing on my bucket list – bringing His joy to others around me – can be accomplished through all these mini-celebrations.

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