Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Empty Your Bucket List

After lunch one day, a friend announced she wanted to go skydiving. Seriously? Jump out of an airplane and hurtle to the ground at an inconceivable speed? I’m not sure what prompted this declaration. Maybe it was her recent milestone birthday. You know, the one where the first digit of your age changes and vaults you into another decade.

A couple of years ago, I would have thought she was crazy. Well, part of me still thinks it’s an absurd idea. It certainly would not be something I’d ever consider attempting. But that’s besides the point.

If she really wants to leap out of a plane, then she should. Life’s short. Circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. Who wants to arrive at the sunset of life clutching a list of dreams and regrets? Wouldn’t it be much better to have a heart filled with memories and fulfilled aspirations?

Back when I was a junior in college, I wrote out a list of things I wanted to do in the future. Many refer to this as a “bucket list”. The list ranged from practical (graduate college) to lofty (ride in a hot air balloon). I’ve revisited that list over the years, checked off a few items as complete (cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner), and laughed over and crossed out others (learn to ice skate).

For some reason, though, I’ve never added to the original list. Did I stop dreaming?

Not really. Well, sort of. I’ll confess that I’ve become content--dare I say complacent--with the way things are right now. Rather than seeking His direction and being open to whatever path He has chosen, I’ve plodded through the past few years without venturing too far from my comfort zone.

Several months ago, I wrote a piece titled God's Got This about my pastor’s diagnosis of leukemia. Last month, in the middle of his treatment, Pastor Dave was able to take the stage at church to give the congregation an update on his health. During the few minutes he spoke, Pastor Dave said something that shattered my complacency. He asked a question. “What would you do today, right now, if you were fully confident that God was with you?”

Sit with that question for a bit.

I’ve been pondering it ever since it was asked. What would I do? What dream do I have that requires jumping out of a metaphorical airplane with the certainty that God will be there to catch me? Item number 8 on my list is to write a book. While that isn’t a dangerous goal, it still involves taking risks and stretching myself. Until God shows me otherwise, writing will be something I pursue, placing my trust in Him.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight,” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).

What about you?

What would you do today if you were fully confident that God was with you?

Dust off your bucket list and take a leap. God is alongside you.

6 comments:

  1. Seema this reminds me of a book I read last year by Steven Furtick called Sun Stand Still. It's about praying audaciously radical prayers because God is big enough to answer them. We do think - and pray - small most of the time because we're so focused on our own abilities, or lack thereof. This makes me want to look at my own bucket list and add the stuff I've been thinking about because God is plenty big enough!

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  2. What a great question, Seema. Things spinning around in my discomfort zone need to be placed squarely on a tangible list. Love your writing! God Bless.

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  3. It's SO easy to get stuck in complacency and not go for your dreams. SUCH an impactful question. Pondering - and planning to DO something about it!

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  4. Powerful! I will be spending time dwelling on this very thing--"What would you do today if you were fully confident that God was with you?"
    Thank you, Seema! Hugs!

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  5. What a thought provoking post/question. I've written out the question and going to put it up in my kitchen to see each morning. Thank you!

    PS-I used to figure skate until I broke my ankle and never went back. I do however hope to take another hot air balloon ride one day. A great experience! Go for it. :0)

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  6. Thanks for the comments. Glad this post has spurred some of you to ponder the question.

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