What's on your bucket list? Often this question elicits big dreams of where we long to travel and what we long to do before we die. My own bucket list includes grandiose hopes like hiking the Appalachian Trail, seeing a whale in the wild, and returning to Africa.
When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year she mentioned that one thing on her bucket list was to return to a particularly beautiful sunrise service in Marin County, CA that we had attended years ago. This Easter we made it back to that sunrise service (see the picture) and were able to cross that special moment off her bucket list. We celebrate that she has responded remarkably well to her cancer treatments and for now is in remission. However, we grieve that she was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's and is now facing the very real challenges that dementia brings in day to day living. I am grateful we seized a bucket list moment when we could.
The seasons of life are in a constant state of flux. Every day is precious and we are never promised a tomorrow. So, what if instead of creating a bucket list filled with big moments for the future we imagined a bucket list filled with little moments that open our eyes to see God among us today? A sort of "spiritual bucket list" for everyday living.
What might be on your spiritual bucket list? My list might look something like this: tell someone I love them, do a random act of kindness, forgive, learn something new, say thank you, get lost on purpose and see where the road takes me, read the Bible, pray, color, sit silently in the hammock and breath, pet the puppy, listen to the birds, sing like no one is listening and dance like no one is watching.
Let's not wait for the end of life. Let's embrace the gift of the present - regardless of the season of our lives. I invite you to consider what might be on your spiritual bucket list and then choose one thing to do today. Thanks be to God for every moment we have breath to breathe and love to give.