The fact that I think in these terms shows how prone I am to swallow concepts the world feeds me without much of a second thought. A second thought would, it seems to me, reveal that making a list of self-centered things to do before I kick the bucket is simply the current recycle of the 'you only live once, pack as much in as you can' philosophy that sketches out the road map for the broad path. The whole idea runs squarely against the flow of Christ's lonely call for us to seek first his not-of-this-world kingdom...and allow the Master to sort out which of life's amazing experiences he'll have us encounter along the narrow way.
And what happens if we ever get the list done? What then? Ever met anyone checking off the last box on their bucket list? I wonder what sentiment you would find there.
A short time ago, I actually had the experience of witnessing a man check off the last box on his life's to-do list...though I am positive he'd never heard of a bucket list.
With the first test landing successfully completed (see previous post), the day came for the official opening of the airstrip at Pipal. We brought government inspectors in along with Bram and Pak Aby (Bram's mentor). At some point in the festivities, Paulus says, in earnest,
Now I can die in peace.
The last thing that I have prayed that God would allow me to accomplish,
the opening of an airstrip for my people,
Having brought the Gospel over the mountains for the people of this entire area, and having watched it begin to transform an entire culture, Paulus' home village remained one of the few groups in the area without direct access to the outside world through an airstrip. This mission was the last thing he wanted to see happen before his waning years came to an end.
Now I can die in peace.
To die in peace. Now there's something worth adding to our lists.
And then I begin to wonder... how much different would our lives be if we made a list of things we wanted to happen after we kicked the bucket? Call it the post-bucket list.
The days when I'm even partially successful at keeping what happens after my last breath in view are remarkably different than those days when I'm striving towards something that won't outlast my own visit to this planet.
When I step back and set the goal of conducting the next hour of my life in such a way that I might hear 'Well done!' from my Master...well, then life takes on real meaning, is guided with clarity and filled with peace.
|Lots of churches have wings, right? Aby delivers a message.|
|Paulus and Aby... warriors both.|
|What I would give to be there when the missionary with the net bag|
and stone ax meets Jesus face to face.
|Pray for Bram as he continues his outreach to the people of Pipal.|