I'm always fascinated by the idea of a bucket list-those dream items, events, and places that one would like to acquire, enjoy, achieve, or visit, before they "kick the bucket.”
As I began to consider what would be on my list, I realized, quickly, that for me, who is prone towards discontentment, that a bucket list in the traditional sense is not a good idea. What if I never make it to Italy? How can I be satisfied driving my SUV if I'm dreaming about a Corvette?
I needed a different kind of bucket list.
The struggle to be content in all circumstances is already a big one for me. If the Bible tells us that it is better to give than to receive, then why not create a bucket list of blessings...for someone else? More of a “Bucket of Blessings” rather than a Bucket List.
Personally, this gets my motor running! After all, the Bible says this about giving:
“By all these things, I have shown you that by working in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)
Here are a few of the things I would love to do for my fellow brother, sister, or random stranger before my time is up:
- Give a car to someone to who needs one.
- Take my family of 5 on a week-long mission trip out of the country where we serve others-possibly to an orphanage.
- Offer our extra bedroom to a person who needs a place to stay indefinitely, rent free.
- Buy the groceries for a mom juggling a toddler, or two, or three who is in my line at the store.
- Plant a tree for each member of my family in our neighborhood.
- Serve Thanksgiving or other holiday meals to the homeless at a local shelter with my family by my side.
- Stand up for someone being mistreated when I see it instead of pretending it's none of my business.
- Pay for the meal of a young family at a restaurant one evening when my family is out to dinner.
- Offer to clean the house of a local elderly widow once a month for a year.
- Throw a fabulous and fun birthday party for kids in local foster care.
- Perform a washing of feet ceremony for each of my children where I lovingly tell them how deeply I love them and affirm their unique gifts and talents.
Can you imagine?
John 13:35 reminds us that the earmark of a Christ-follower is by our generous love: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." There is nothing wrong with making a list of things one would love to do one day—but let’s not forget that there is more to life than temporary things and that putting our energy into serving and blessing others has eternal value that does not compare with earthly things.
Will you join me in creating your own bucket list of blessings? Here’s to being men and women who seek to bless others in 2016!!
YOUR TURN: What would be on your “Bucket of Blessings” list? How do you keep your family’s focus on giving rather than simply receiving?