The Spiritu Al Bucket List
So one of my seniors in the youth group had the idea to make a spiritual bucket list that she dubbed her “WWJD Bucket List”. Instead of these fitness goals, adrenaline sports experiences, or expensive material things to own that appear on most bucket lists, hers focused on acts of service and spiritual milestones she wants to achieve. I think this is an awesome idea and I encourage everyone to do the same! Some of these are rooted in Scripture and some aren’t but nevertheless, a beneficial exercise. So here goes my very first WWJD Bucket List.
1. Visit the Holy Lands – I’ve always wanted to see the physical places Jesus and other historical Bible characters walked. To see even just the ruins of these cities and the worn down geographical landmarks would be an amazing experience!
2. Baptize my future children – My wife, Jennifer, and I have always talked about having children of our own and I can’t imagine anything how much of a blessing it would be to witness them taking on Christ in baptism!
3. Type out the entire Bible – This one is something I’ve wanted to attempt since college. In those days I would type down notes in class on my laptop. Even when the professor would clarify that all his/her PowerPoint slides would be made available, I still typed away. Why? It helped me remember. Truth be told, handwriting my notes helped even more but my hand-writing is atrocious and I wasn’t near fast enough when I put a pen to paper. Typing down the Bible would be an opportunity to engage with the Scriptures in a way that would be new and that would allow for less distractions.
4. Give till it hurts – There has never been a time that I put a check in the offering plate at church, loaned or gifted an amount of money to someone in need, or have taken a financial risk where I felt like I truly HAD to trust God to see me through. It’s so easy to be cold and calculating when deciding on an amount or percentage that you think your church deserves (which, regardless of the likability of your pastor or the relationship you have with your church leadership, shouldn’t you continue to give faithfully with the knowledge God is in the habit of using imperfect people to do His amazing will?). I’ve always been taught and believe that you should feel it when you give. That’s not to say you shouldn’t budget out what God has given you or that you should give to the point you don’t save enough for emergencies or retirement and become a burden to your church. I’m just saying, maybe knowing I can’t have as much Starbucks or that I can’t get exactly the car I want because of how much I give could be a good thing.
Sorry, these are getting longer and more rambly as I go. I’ll try to shorten it up so you can finish reading before you… kick the bucket! Bahahahaha! (I blame my upbringing. Thanks Dad!)
5. Anonymous Acts of Service – Or as I like to call it, Encouraging Espionage. It’s pretty easy to serve someone and allow yourself to be thanked, featured in a mission trip slide show, or feel like you’re seen as a servant-hearted Christian. It’s tough to actively seek out those opportunities to do something for someone with complete anonymity. I think Jesus said something about that being a good thing. So pay someone’s bill, mow that shut-in’s yard, leave a present on their doorstep, just don’t get caught!
2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
6. Live a Sin Free Day – Everyday.
7. Befriend a Homeless Person – This is tough. This is really tough. (and not always safe) I’ve always thought of Jesus as hugging and laughing with whomever the perceived scum of society was in that day. (Meaning I may need to add befriending a politician or CEO to my list) But I’ve always been terrible at this. Yes I can feed the homeless, give them clothes, all those things that should be normal things Christians should want to do. But I do not want to befriend them. And why not? It’s awkward right? I have things and they don’t. Why would I want to spend time getting to know someone whom society dictates is beneath me or that has messed up their life or who makes me feel uncomfortable because of the luxuries afforded me and not them… why indeed.
8. Love and Honor my Wife until Death – This one may seem more obvious, I mean I did promise something along those lines in our wedding ceremony. But it’s weighed on me recently that more and more, keeping this promise is not the norm. The institution of marriage has become a tentative arrangement and has been twisted by our society. No matter what society says or life brings, my marriage will always come before my job, my friends, and especially myself.
9. Embrace the Humble Life – This is kind of broad I realize; Living a humble Christian life manifests itself in so many ways. Actively praising others without expectation of reciprocity, accepting a rebuke, giving credit to God for something that took much personal effort, these are all things that are easy to say or to know but we rarely chase after. Living in humility might sound awesomely pious but actually looking at what that means is daunting, even to a lowly youth minister…
10. Share the Gospel with someone who has never heard it before – I don’t think I’ve ever talked to a person who didn’t have at least a basic understanding of who Jesus is and what Christian’s believe He did for us. I’ve been on a couple mission trips and taught at VBS even but never really had the chance to tell the Gospel story and let it’s power fall on fresh ears for the very first time. I’ve witnessed people all of a sudden realizing what it means, I’ve seen it dawn on them who Jesus is and what that makes us, and those are amazing times. But just once I want to hear someone say, “Who is this Jesus?” so I can smile and say to them, “Do you have time to talk over a pizza?”
That’s all for now! 10 is an amazingly round number, I mean it has a zero and counting things in tens just feels right so there you have it. Seriously though, do this. Post it on facebook. Share it with your friends. Challenge someone else to do the same!
If you need help getting started, here is another Christian Bucket List I found on Google.
It’s an interesting exercise when you want to write about going on a mission trip to Hawaii and you end up asking yourself… What Would Jesus Do?
Please feel free to comment below with your own list ideas and subscribe to my blog if you want to read more about faith, pizza, and movies.