A bucket list is collection of things you want to do before you die. Best I can tell, it comes from the old vernacular “kicked the bucket” as a representation of death. People want to have a bunch of experiences and behaviors in the bucket before it is kicked and its contents are emptied. Examples of bucket list items are visiting the Grand Canyon or watching the Cubs play in Wrigley Field. Or writing a cookbook about sausage or playing in a curling league. Or forgiving somebody or living as forgiven. Make a list and start living out your dreams.
Make another list too. A list of things you don’t want in your bucket. An anti-bucket list, if you will. Here is mine. I don’t want to come to the end of my days….
- Believing my resources were scarce.
I’m rich. Yeah, there are things I want that I don’t have. Like a larger meat grinder and an Airstream camper. But despite the creeping belief I occasionally have, my resources are not scarce. I hope to keep making the move from scarcity to abundance in the way I think and live. To be grateful for everything and everybody I have been blessed with. To claim God’s unlimited resources. To embrace the truth that I have everything I need, and then some, to be successful and happy and generous.
- Regretting missed opportunities.
If I could hit the rewind button on my past, I wouldn’t change the mistakes I’ve made. I’ve learned from them, experienced grace, and moved on. I would change the opportunities I missed. The times fear got the best of me. The relationships that never started. The places I didn’t go. The things I didn’t try. I want the rest of my days, my bucket, to be filled with courage and not regret.
- Having worked too much.
I’d be fine hearing at my funeral that I missed a few meetings or I winged a sermon once in a while. I wouldn’t be fine knowing that Benjamin and David thought I was good at my job, but not much of a dad. I couldn’t imagine having a better job at a better place, but in life we can get too much of a good thing that causes us to miss out on great things.
- Realizing I lived with a negative attitude.
Negative people suck the energy and excitement out of me. Those moments or days I am negative, it’s like I’m pulling plug on the pool of God’s grace. Optimism and patience and tolerance and contentment are a better vocabulary and way of life than complaining and critical and caustic.
- Neglecting trust in others
We have two mutually exclusive choices in life: 1) Don’t trust others, don’t experience too much hurt or disappointment, and don’t experience solidarity or intimacy or 2) Trust others, risk being hurt and disappointed, and experience signifcant solidarity or intimacy. At the end of the day, I’d rather have had a big party with a mess to clean up than have no party at all.