"After the Bucket"
You may have heard of the so-called "bucket list," a collection of goals or dreams that some people hope to fulfill before they die (or kick the bucket, as it were). This includes things to do, places to visit, people to meet, skills to develop, or anything one desires to do before departure from the present earthly lifetime. You may have such a list yourself. If so, the following is written not as a criticism, but rather as a Biblical reminder regarding plans for the future.
"A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).
God is the ultimate planner as He works to fulfill "the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:11). Originally created in His image, human beings also possess the capacity to devise our way. If wise, we make our plans by seeking His guidance, and also by not placing too much certainty in our ability and opportunity to fulfill all goals. Moreover, even as we seek the Lord, we sometimes fail to accurately plan our future. He mercifully redirects us, sometimes in ways known to us. In other times, our Lord blocks our way in a manner we cannot see, but which protects us from danger. Recall Balaam's donkey, who saw an angel standing threateningly in the path. The donkey changed course, whereas Balaam would have blindly proceeded into harm (Numbers 22:21-33). Doubtless we all have had such experience, and we do well to thank the Lord for protections from unseen harm that help us even as we may be disappointed by being diverted from our chosen path.
Regarding bucket lists, no problem exists if such plans and goals are kept in proper perspective. There is nothing inherently wrong with hoping to enjoy certain experiences before we go to be with the Lord. However, we must sure to remember that unlike those who do not believe, Christians' primary anticipations do not involve this present world. Our list involves the glories of after the bucket rather than before it. Nothing of this present world truly satisfies our hearts. Our best moments here will seem like dust in comparison to the most ordinary moments of the life to come. Our first glimpse into the face of the Lord Jesus Christ will fill us with more joy than the all the joyous moments of earth combined. Indeed, if from this time in our present life until its end, no hope or dream came to pass, we would still have cause for great joy as we look forward to that first glimpse of our Savior (and all His eternal glories to follow). Thus, we seek to establish and maintain our after the bucket list as paramount in our hearts, minds, and dreams...
"We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
(II Corinthians 4:18)
Weekly Memory Verse
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.