Thursday, August 19
Having turned 70 earlier this year, I have given some thought to creating my own bucket list, but wonder if such an effort is still in vogue? A Google search for examples of such lists revealed a 2018 article entitled The World’s 20 Most Popular Bucket List Activities. Scanning this inventory, I had completed five items (learned to play an instrument, rode in a Venetian gondola, taken an Alaskan cruise, wrote a book and visited Stonehenge) – perhaps not a great score, but many of the other items on that list held little interest or quite frankly involved a risk I was not prepared to take – skydiving – no thank you!
I have yet to compile an extensive bucket list, but do have a few ideas in mind – seeing a baseball game at Wrigley Field stadium in Chicago; and being loaned a 1956 Oldsmobile Super 88 – or any car from the late 1950s or early ‘60s – for a summer to drive around Whitby and grin a lot.
What about bucket list items that reflect one’s faith? A Google search for bucket lists for Christians revealed 3.4 million results! If you take time to look at some of these examples, you no doubt would say, “I’ve already done that.”, or “That is something that is part of who I am already.” I have given thought, and indeed taken some action, to include such items on my evolving bucket list.
Read all the books in the Old Testament. My bucket list includes reading and studying the thirty-nine books found in the Protestant Old Testament. Remember this is not an annual resolution, but a bucket list plan. So, my approach is to read and study three or four O.T. books a year. It has been said that the Old Testament is not just a prologue to the life of Jesus. It is an important part of Scripture that reveals God’s heart, our faith history, and builds a foundation for our understanding of the New Testament. I am fortunate to have a good friend who is willing to help me in this endeavour by using an every-other-week bible study session schedule to move through chosen books. He and I plan to soon start Ecclesiastes while I am going solo on the Book of Job later this month. I have already read the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) plus the Book of Ruth while recently at Wycliffe College, so I think this particular list item can be accomplished.
Plan a Cathedral tour in England. Some of you know that I came to Anglicanism after visiting Salisbury Cathedral during a 2005 driving holiday. Having been back there twice, it is still a definite stop on this tour – probably at the start or the end of the trip so I may stay in Salisbury for two or three days and enjoy going to daily services, touring the buildings and just immersing myself in the experience. There are a few other cathedrals I would also visit on this sojourn. These include: Wells Cathedral in Somerset known for its west façade containing 300 medieval carvings; and Coventry Cathedral in the West Midlands renowned for the preservation of previous church buildings first destroyed during the Reformation and more recently due to German bombing raids in 1940. Another “must see” stop will be a visit to the abbey located in Whitby, a seaside town in the Scarborough borough of North Yorkshire. My wife and I have not yet visited the town or the abbey site which dates back to its earliest form in 657 CE. And, of course, this tour must involve my first visit to Canterbury Cathedral, prompted in large part by recent viewings of the Morning Prayer YouTube videos by Dean Robert, his daily menagerie of animal companions, wonderful gardens and cathedral nooks and crannies. Please feel free to suggest to me other Church of England cathedrals that I should consider including in this bucket list tour.
Someone once said that making a bucket list is important as it can help you remember what you value the most. Creating a bucket list can also be inspirational. While you may not complete every item on your list, you will likely complete some, and get more out of your life than if you hadn’t created one. I would add that as Christians, integrating bucket list items related to our faith, what we believe in and how we wish to live our lives as followers of Jesus, is a worthy addition to such an exercise that indeed can inspire us and others around us while also reminding us of the value of our faith and our trust in God.
Heavenly Father, thank you that there is nowhere I can go that is beyond your presence. Please watch over me as I travel today. Your word says that, to those who ask, it will be given, to those who seek, it will be found and to those who knock, the door will be opened. Guide my steps. Let the majesty of the Father be the light that guides me, the compassion of the Son be the love that inspires me and the presence of the Spirit be the strength that empowers me. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
from: Good Prayers for Travelling Mercies