Ditch the Bucket List

Where did this idea of a bucket list come from? I don’t recall it being a feature of my youth. Possibly it is a ‘thing’ for older people who feel the speed of time and age catapulting them into an vortex of regret and no return. I confess the notion of a bucket list has always sat uneasily with me – No…I don’t want to go parachuting or climb¬† Everest, or kiss on the top of the Empire State Building or learn Japanese or run a marathon. Not really. So why the¬† big hurrah with the bucket list?

I think it is a sign of discontentment. (If you want to think more about this idea there is a good series here.) It is a symptom of this world not being good enough, this lifestyle or season we find our self in not meeting our expectations, so we have something bigger and better to look forward to. A holiday, an experience, a new skill learned. But the reality is none of this dreamer activity will save you or me. I suspect it makes our desire for more stuff, more people, more experience insatiable. Our bucket will be never be full in our own strength.

The bucket list points to humankind’s inability to be the source of our own contentment. Sure a few activities and fun people make life really amazing. But there will always be that nagging feeling of life not being enough, without something bigger, something divine. It is a God thing.

Strategic Planning

I have recently been involved in strategic planning for work. Secretly I love all that stuff. Big picture ideas, vision, imagining how you would like structures to be embedded, how to manage people, define roles, clarify processes. I believe there is real value and energy in talking through your ideas, in being given permission to imagine new scenarios and to dream. But we need a safe place to do it. A place of confidence.

Do you ever dream big with your spouse? Your family or friends? I think sometimes the busyness of life, the demands of caring for small people, ageing parents, a sick child or nursing your own poor health means we become jaded and can no longer see the possibilities of next week, let alone next year.

Make some time to dream this week. Let your thoughts go as you journal, as you chat with a friend over coffee, as you converse during date night with your spouse. A strategic plan for your family and your future can be an amazing thing. It allows you to reinstate those things you value but have perhaps lost sight of.

Our family wants to be missional; we want to share meals, tell stories of Jesus, we want to do life with others and build community. So how do we do it? There are some good ideas here.