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What Your Bucket List Says About You

Our bucket lists show something about us… and it’s not pretty!

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to convince a certain famous person who shall remain nameless to play Words With Friends against me.

(If you know who I’m talking about, please don’t reveal his name)

For those of you who don’t know, Words With Friends (or WWF for short) is a scrabble-style game that smartphone users can play against each other.

This famous person has said online once or twice that he’s pretty good at WWF and I’ve tried many and various strategies to get him to play against me.

One day I came up with a genius idea and tweeted something along these lines:

I’ve changed my bucket list and now there’s only one thing on it: to play WWF against Insert Famous Person’s Name Here

My strategy worked and within a few hours, he offered to clear up my bucket list once and for all.

Let me tell you, he’s a TOUGH opponent, made even tougher by the fact that his natural desire and ability to win has got me completely psyched out!

When we started playing against each other though, I was sure there were a couple of blog posts I could write about it and lo and behold, before too long, I’d come up with them. The first being:

Our Bucket Lists show our true colors.

So I wrote a post asking people to share their bucket lists, which a number of people did, some in the comments and others by email.

The bucket lists came from a variety of people some of them Christians and some of them not and I think all of them reveal something of what lies deep within our hearts.

Most people’s Bucket Lists are heavily populated with items of things they want to see or experience which are totally self-oriented.

For instance, my original list includes:

  • Going to see the pyramids in Egypt
  • Seeing Michael Jordan play basketball
  • Owning a house where my bedroom has an en-suite bathroom

…and the list goes on.

Those things are fine, but it’s what is missing from my list that is really telling.

If you asked me, I would tell you that, as a Christian, the reason I believe I and all other Christians are still here is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So if our purpose here is to share the gospel… why is my list not full of things related to my purpose here on earth?

Seriously! Why isn’t it?

What does it say about me that with my mouth I’ll tell you that the most important thing to me is seeing people get saved but when I write out my goals, almost all of them have nothing to do with God at all?

One person who impresses me with his list is Tony J Alicia. Here’s the first part of Tony’s list:

  • Run a million dollar company
  • Give away half of what I earn
  • Speak in front of 50,000 people
  • Minister in 50 countries
  • Plant 5 churches
  • Perform a creative miracle
  • Give a word of knowledge to an influential non-Christian

Now that’s a list that shows he has a heart for telling people about God. Sure, he also has other things on there like skiing and surfing on the same day in New Zealand and that’s great.

God didn’t create us to be boring! He gave us personalities and goals and I don’t think that God has any problem with Tony wanting to sing on a record or hike up a mountain but I wonder….

What does God think when he sees my list, or when he realizes I have nothing left that I want to accomplish before I die because I played WWF against someone?

Does God have plans for me still? Are there things he wants me to do?

If so, why are they not on my bucket list?

Do I REALLY yearn to do what God wants me to do or do I yearn to do all worldly things?

I wonder…

Post Info:
Written By: PeterP
On: August 15th, 2011
See More In: Faith
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13 Responses to What Your Bucket List Says About You

  1. Father Stephen wrote:

    The reason your bucket list doesn’t include doing things for God is the same reason why your list doesn’t include ‘buy this week’s groceries’ or ‘do the laundry’. Bucket lists are for the things you never normally have the time or money to do. The things you do every day like worship and serve God, take the kids to school, and sink a well in a thirsty land, cannot feature because you are already doing them.

    You ask, does God still have plans for me? You also stand impressed by Tony’s list. Has Tony said that his list is God’s list? Does God plan for Tony to leave what he’s doing now so that he can minister in 50 countries and only plant 5 churches while running a million dollar company? I doubt it. Does Tony realise that if he earns an average of $25,000 a year over a 40 year working life he will be a million dollar man? If he sends only a small protion of that to indigenous ministers in poor counties they could plant easily plant many more than 5 churches. If he makes contact with ministers in 50 countries and prayfully supports their ministry he will be ministering in those lands without even being there! There are so many ways to achieve your goals.
    Oh, and if Tony playes WWF he might give some influential person the word he needs. Who knows?

    • PeterP wrote:

      Can I just delete this post and pretend I never wrote it?

      • Father Stephen wrote:

        Nope.

      • I don’t usually disagree with other readers and comment about it (for sure, I disagree but I keep it to myself).

        Father Stephen is minimizing dreaming with God. What he is saying is true – we should be doing those things but when people don’t dream with God, they rarely get out and do those things.

        Dreaming allows us to step outside our natural thinking about what’s possible and think about working with God to do the impossible.

        As I’ve gotten to know Tony a little online, I recognize that his heart is for those things because God has placed that desire there – not because he wants to do them and is asking God to bless his plans. I believe that Tony seeks after God’s heart.

        Tony also didn’t say he wanted to be a million-dollar man – he wants to run a million dollar company.

        I want to travel to as many countries as I can and see miracles in every place that I go to. I want to see a person raised from the dead – even better if I participate in praying for that.

        Since we have the mind of Christ (for anyone who is in Christ), then our thinking is being renewed and God is placing new dreams in our heart. Dreams that to the natural mind might look like we are seeking the glory for ourselves. I don’t believe that’s true for me, nor do I believe that is true for Tony.

        • Father Stephen wrote:

          Andrea, I’m so glad you disagree with me. Better still, I’m glad you have not kept silent. I don’t use the word ‘dream’ in the context of what I want to do. I suppose that is because I think of a dream as being that which is impossible. With God all things are possible.
          Like you, I would love to see someone raised from the dead. I ask myself, do I have the faith? I think that seeing God do the impossible through me is not a question of whether I have dreamed but whether I have faith. I have come close to seeing someone raised from the dead; it happened like this. A lady who sometimes worshipped with us was seriously ill in hospital. One afternoon I decided to visit her. As I approached her room I saw her daughter come out looking very distressed. She explained that the medics had just told her that there was no hope for her mother; they did not expect her to live through that night. I went alone into the mother’s room. I took her hand and prayed for her healing. I left. Next day I saw her daughter again who told me her mother was completely recovered. OK, it wasn’t raising the dead, but it was pretty close. As far as others were concerned, she was as good as dead. The lady in question said afterwards that she had no recollection of my visit. That was about 10 years ago. She is still alive today. What I did that day seemed to me to be just living the normal Christian life. I did not dream. It was not raising the dead but it was healing the dying; isn’t that miriculous enough? I just did, in faith, what seemed right. Since then I have often wondered, maybe dreamed, could I do the same for someone who is actually dead. What stops me is lack of faith – but I know God can do it.

          I think what I’m trying to say in all this is that I believe that what we should be doing is (a) daily making ourselves available to God and (b) living life the way it’s described in Isaiah chapter 58. The concept of that chapter is that we know the good we should be doing, so get on and do it. When we start doing it God will bless us and whole new horizons will open up.

          If that is dreaming, then yes, I’m a dreamer. If it is seeking God’s heart, then yes, I seek His heart. I just think it’s my reasonable service.

    • Ahh the pragmatist. The bane of every dreamer. I hear your points but if you don’t dream, you’ll only do what you can do in your own strength.

      There’s been plenty of that in the church for quite some time.

      P.S. I wrote another piece on how you can know if your dreams line up with God’s dreams if you’re interested:

      http://www.tonyjalicea.com/2011/02/is-your-dream-an-idol/

      Oh and I used to play WWF but it cut into my dreaming time. :)

  2. katdish wrote:

    Bucket List Item:

    Beat Peter Pollock at Words with Friends

    CHECK!

  3. Tsholo wrote:

    i personaly feel that sharing the gospel should be a lifestyle thing, so I don’t think it belongs on a bucketlist. It shouldn’t be something you want to do someday before you die, it should be an everyday through your everyday mandane tasks thing

  4. You asked:

    “What does God think when he sees my list”

    I would say that He thinks the same thing you would think if your child came to you with a list of dreams.

    If they were safe and not really connected to the things you know about them, you would probably ask “Isn’t there anything else you want to do?”

    It’s funny how we can picture God as a good Father when it’s convenient, but not with other things.

    He’s a good Father when it comes to forgiveness but not when it comes to blessing. Those blessings only come when we do work for Him. I’m not a father but I don’t think that the way I relate to my kids will be that I will bless them when they do what I want them to do with their life.

    These are kind of broad strokes and there are many “yeah, buts” you can say in reply to that.

    I did the exercise in writing out my dreams because I’ve always been a pragmatist and ONLY wanted to do safe things or things that wouldn’t disappoint God. But my view on what pleases or disappoints God has been very limited.

    I always encourage people to dream because the world was never changed by safe, pragmatists. And I want to change the world. Even if I never see the effect of what I did in my lifetime.

  5. Funny. I saw your tweet and thought, “My bucket list will include designing my own wordpess website without crashing someone else’s server.”

    Loved how this post got me thinking today, Peter.

  6. Insightful post and great discussion in the comments too. :) I don’t really have anything to add at the moment, but this is good. We need to need to examine our deepest desires and dreams, or better yet, we surrender and allow the Holy Spirit to search and know us as David says in the Psalms. It’s an incredibly worthy pursuit and you’re a brave man to share yours with us, Peter. Thanks.

  7. Candy wrote:

    Did the famous person who shall remain nameless play the word “hike?” Just curious.

  8. Pingback: How to Make Someone Fly – A Thousand Times a Day | PeterPollock.com

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