Do you have a bucket list? If you don’t know what it is, it’s a list of things you want to do/accomplish before you pass away. It seems everyone is talking about them these days, from celebrities to television shows and movies. This year we had two people pass through our area working on their bucket lists, one was cycling through all of the lower 49 states, the other wants to visit every major league baseball park in the US.
Do you have a bucket list? If so, is God on it? If not, why not?
Too many times we put God’s desires after everything else, intending to get around to it some day. Then, like Ebenezer Scrooge, we find that our time is short and our life may be required that night…too late for all of those bucket items. What God requires of us, and what should be first on that bucket list, really isn’t all that much.
- Show God that you love Him. You show it to your spouse or loved one on those “special” occasions…how do you show God you love Him? Do you do it with just an offhanded remark, maybe during prayer, (“oh, and God, I love you too)? Or is it visible in what you do? Jesus tell us that in everything we do, do it for God.
- Love your neighbors. No, not the person in the house/apartment next to yours (although there is nothing wrong with that), but your true neighbor. Last year there was a story about a group of Muslims who were riding on a bus with Christians. The bus was stopped and everyone was ordered to identify themselves if they were Christian or Muslim. To a man the Muslims on the bus refused to identify themselves, preferring to die with their Christian neighbors. So, think about the people in the Mosque down the street from you, are they your neighbors? Have you shown them your love? His love?
- Give alms in Jesus’ name. Without all the glitz and glory of showing off about it. There’s a show I watch in which one of the characters is a professed Roman Catholic, in one episode his colleagues wondered why he was being so secretive, was he sick? Was he having problems? Later in the episode it was revealed that he organized a fair for a group of sick children, he did it without any fanfare, without letting anyone (except those necessary to bring it all about) what he was doing. Alms isn’t just about money, it includes any type of giving of yourself to others, in a quiet and private way. Do you show God your love by helping His less fortunate children? We were put here to help each other as His representatives on earth.
My favorite church saint is Seraphim of Sarov. In a conversation with a man seeking his wisdom in living right Seraphim said:
“Prayer, fasting, vigil and all the other Christian practices may be, they do not constitute the aim of our Christian life. Although it is true that they serve as the indispensable means of reaching this end, the true aim of our Christian life consists of the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God. As for fasts, and vigils, and prayer, and almsgiving, and every good deed done for Christ’s sake, are the only means of acquiring the Holy Spirit of God. Mark my words, only good deeds done for Christ’s sake brings us the fruits of the Holy Spirit. All that is not done for Christ’s sake, even though it be good, brings neither reward in the future life nor the grace of God in this life.”
So, is God on your bucket list?
Glory to Jesus Christ