Today our youngest son Isaac is very excited because we flew to Queensland today, and tomorrow he will go to Australia Zoo. This zoo is one of the top places on his list of things to do and see. I actually can't remember how long he has wanted to visit Steve Irwin's zoo, but I think he is still pinching himself that he is going tomorrow.
Some people call these lists a "bucket list". It's the term used for a list of all the goals you want to achieve, dreams you are working to fulfil and the life experiences you desire to experience before you die.
Why Create a Bucket List?
Life gets busy and full of so many things, and if we don't live our days with any purpose or vision, chances are we'll get caught up in the hurry, scurry, and flurry of daily life, and before you know it, the years have become a blur that we don't particularly remember much about.
But the beauty of having a bucket list is that it reminds us of what is really important to us so that we can focus, pray and believe for them to come to pass in our lives and that we make our moments memorable and purposeful.
Even if we frequently live by goals or to-do lists, they are probably within the context of performance, career, health etc. A bucket list is different from only listing our plans for achievements because it gives our imagination and the secret hopes and dreams in our heart room to fly. It's gives everything we've ever wanted to do and be, whether big, small, or random, space to breathe and live.
A bucket list is like planning the highlight reel of our whole life.
I think God has a special bucket list for us and is constantly setting up surprises and blessings with our happiness in mind. When we also expect great things to happen, we will recognize these what I call "Jesus set up's" far more.
He says, "Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20).
He says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope". (Jeremiah 29:11)
"And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them ". (Psalm 139:16)
If you already have a list, I encourage you to make time to review it regularly. See if there are new items you want to add on. Check if all the items listed are still relevant or important to you. If not, remove them.
If you don't have a list I encourage you to start one.
On my bucket list there are two parts:
Part 1 – is what I'm asking God to do. It's what I speak, imagine, pray, believe and stand on God's word for. That's God's part of the list; On my own, my list looks far beyond my capabilities. It's where my faith has to kick in to believe in the promises of God.
Part 2 – is what I can do. I do my part, and God does His. I spend time asking the Lord, "is there anything you want me to do" and then write it down on my part of the list.
I do what I can to be the person God made me to be, make the most of every opportunity, "lift the lids" in my life, and work on my strengths. Then I leave God to do His part.
Our bucket list lists everything we want to achieve, do, see, feel and experience in our life. If we want the full, abundant life Jesus wants for us, He asks us to dream, hope and imagine. Plus, if we don't, we can't really complain when we feel like life is passing us by.
Today, take out your pen and paper, or open up a text document, and dream. I recommend including God in this list-making (he'll get you to dream bigger) and start writing everything on your heart and mind.
It won't cost you anything and will probably only take 30-60 minutes of your day. But you stand to gain significant clarity and focus on the plans and purposes God has for you and all that you want to experience in the precious gift that is your life!
It's an invaluable exercise, and if the happiness Isaac is exhibiting today is any sign, it's worth doing. Have fun!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gift of my life. Please help me to take the shackles off my thinking and to dream. To dare to believe that you would grant me the desires of my heart. Please help me to dream, hope and believe bigger, and that my life would glorify you. In Jesus Name, Amen.