About That Bucket List…

– by Tendai Chitsike

I was fortunate enough to overhear a short conversation between a mother and daughter recently. The daughter, eyes full of starry-eyed imagination, gushed forth with the priorities on her ‘bucket list’, including swimming with dolphins as a ‘must-do’. When asked about her own list, her mother, exuding contentment, instantly replied: “I don’t have anything on my bucket list, except to see all my children with me in heaven.”

Different ways of living
More than an everyday conversation, the two approaches of daughter and mother can represent two completely different ways of living, with profoundly different consequences. The philosophy (yes, I did use that word) behind a ‘bucket list’ is that because ‘you only live once’, our limited life here on earth must be filled with as many experiences of fun and adventure that we can muster. 

What are we to make of this?
While God has given us much to enjoy, such a philosophy denies the resurrection, focuses on oneself instead of God’s Kingdom, and with social media on overdrive, is easily prone to envy and dissatisfaction, disregarding what we already have in Christ. Commenting on the ‘bucket list’ philosophy, author Randy Alcorn states that the idea “makes sense from a naturalistic worldview, one that doesn’t recognise any afterlife, [but] the one worldview in which the bucket list makes no sense is Biblical Christianity.” In fact, he goes on to say that such a mentality “…is profoundly unbiblical [as] it disregards the teaching of the resurrection.

Similarly, AW Tozer wrote:
“The foolish man lives as if he will never live again, as if this were the only world there is.” Instead of living for God’s glory, ‘bucket-listing’ puts our lives at the centre, ultimately resulting in an eternity of regret instead of joy. As you begin another new year, may all that you desire be seen through the Gospel and the eternal perspective of God’s Kingdom.

JOY! Magazine (January 2019)

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