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.
One of our little one’s favourite Bible stories right now is the account of Jesus calming the storm from Mark’s Gospel. It may be the pictures of the boat bobbing on a stormy sea, or Jesus speaking and making the terror of the storm subside, I am not sure. But she delights in it. And this week so have I.
We have been discussing Mark in a weekly community gathering we have and it was this story that really hit home this week. What is your storm that comes out of nowhere and threatens to blow you away?
An unexpected illness that curbs your plans for days, poor communication that sets in motion and unfriendly silence between you and your spouse, a family crisis that calls members to travel interstate to support one another, a miserable baby that won’t settle, sudden stress in the workplace, increasing anxiety due to insufficient funds, tension between friends, disrupted family life, no sleep.
The storm comes in many guises. Sometimes we are poor at recognising it when it does come. And even more inept in recognising where our trust and hope lies – in our own strength to ‘calm the storm’, to control it or in our God who is Sovereign over all of creation, over every dark cloud, misplaced word, lost dollar and heart ache.
PS. Chrissy Lau is new to me but her illustrations are amazing and worth an extra peek. You may have seen her work in a mag or as a part of Chinese New Year 2012 in Sydney.
Do you know real freedom today? To be the person you were called to be, using the gifts and talents that you have been given? To be you today and not the girl from yesterday, or the guy from last decade? To have the old ways erased and the fumbling mistakes forgotten?When we have a real encounter with our Creator there is the promise of freedom, of making everything new, the knowledge of grace, mercy, love and hope.
2 Corinthians 5:17 The Message ….. says:
Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
Art: Melbourne CBD Laneways
Thank you God for this fine day…
Thank you God for friends to play….
Thanks you God for gifts to share….
Thank you God for words to pray…
Thank you for new life and love…
Thank you for old memories to treasure…
Lily has exclaimed over and over this week…”Look, beautiful Christmas Tree!” We managed to all gather to decorate the tree on Monday night. For some reason we did not get a picture of Lily and Andrew was taking the shots.
I have had a huge present sorting and wrapping session today – all those treasures I have been buying throughout the year needed organising. I am almost done…almost.
I have had my fruit soaking in alcohol for some days now…..each day turning out to be no good for baking the Xmas cake. I grabbed a jar of fruit mince and all the spices needed for some gingerbread and other fun baking. Donna Hay has some lovely ideas for Christmas treats.
Wishing we could have some of the cold and snow of a Northern Hemisphere Xmas. We loved our Christmas in London. Thinking of Christine and Anne!!
Here we all are….