Many of us have a list of things we would like to do or accomplish in this life. You may call them goals or a wish list, or more commonly a bucket list (things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”). There is nothing inherently wrong with these goals or desires if they are viewed correctly. I recently read an article by Randy Alcorn regarding bucket lists. In the article, Alcorn points to the unbiblical nature of the bucket list. While reading, I had one of those A-Ha moments when God reveals a truth that I needed to hear. I have often been found guilty of gauging the impact of my life and my own worth by accomplishment or things I have done. I have spent countless hours pondering things I want to do or places I want to go. These range from writing a novel to scuba diving or hiking the Grand Canyon. You may have done some of this mind traveling when you hear of a big lottery winner or even when someone you know checks something off of their list that remains unchecked on your list.
My A-Ha moment was this: Underneath the idea of a bucket list or my discontent from not accomplishing something is a core false belief. This false belief is that my only chance of doing anything important or doing something fun is in this life. Basically, the old adage “you only live once.” The assumption and false belief underneath this is that heaven or the new earth is going to be inferior or worse yet, downright boring. But this is not the picture the Bible paints. Revelation 21 and 22 point to a place free of death and pain, a place where everything is new. Everything will be better and the amount of things to enjoy will be far greater than anything we could possible put on a bucket list in the present. And they won’t ever end. There will be no timeframe in which things must be done. No bucket to kick. For those in Christ, the greatest hope is in the promise of resurrection; first, the resurrection of Christ and then our own resurrection because of what Christ accomplished for us.
Paul discusses this in 1 Corinthians 15 . He begins with a reminder of the gospel (verses 1-5), then in 12-58 discusses resurrection and comes to this conclusion in verse 58: Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not on vain (ESV). So what does this have to do with resurrection and my A-Ha moment regarding a bucket list. Correcting our view of eternity and the false belief that all fun and things of importance must be done in this life frees us to do more for the kingdom, rather than trying to squeeze in all the fun and entertainment into our few short years on this “old earth.” We can seek first the kingdom (Mt. 7:33) and store up treasures in heaven (Mt. 6:20). The rest of the list we have eternity to accomplish. The kingdom list provides us the opportunity to participate in helping others gain an eternity with God and never-ending enjoyment. So seek today to kick the bucket list.