Looking at an Empty Pail?
In Part 1 of The Problem With Bucket Lists, we considered how creating a bucket list, for the Christian, indicates there are earthly opportunities that vanish when we die. While there’s nothing wrong with goals—living an intentional life—the idea that life here on earth has time limitations for the born-again believer is not good theology.
Our lesson from Part 1 of Bucket List Blog (BLB), we learned our lives will not be so radically different in the coming hereafter.
Read BLB 1 here.
Where we look is also a problem with bucket lists. While it’s super satisfying to see something you desire, set the goal, then reach the target, eyes that look to the pleasures of earth, biblically, belong to people with limited vision.
I want to be a person who sees beyond what’s in front of me. I want to be a person of unlimited vision.
Believe me, I enjoy my time on this planet in its current, shallow state. I love my family, my job, my therapy (writing), and I love to behold a hot pink sunrise, ponder golden autumn leaves, and engage in long, spiritual conversations with my besties. I adore travel, seeing and experiencing new places and cultures from the villages of Equatorial Guinea, Africa, to the street markets of Germany. All of it—every single experience. But our Maker has, time and again, communicated that we are never to consider this space our destiny or that this life is as good as it gets.
Of course our lives here are but mere shadows of the real life awaiting us, when again, we walk with God in the Garden and Christ serves as the perfect head of state.
Government will take on a whole new meaning in the coming kingdom. Thank God!
Look at Isaiah 43. Without doubt or need for debate, we are told the purpose of our creation—all of it—man and field: To bring glory to God.
Our lives in this world/state/condition are a training ground for trust with the specific mission to build a population for the next kingdom (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 3:9-15; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Ephesians 2:19-22).
The purpose here is not to fulfill every earthly pleasure in this temporal state, but to prepare for the promises and pleasures of life as a redeemed creature in an eternal state of harmony in the presence of our God and our King.
I would love, love to experience a river cruise. I admit, I made this a major goal right after my husband and I experienced a ten-day tour of Israel. I’ve fantasized about gliding, first class, down a lazy river watching new-to-me scenes float by. And, I admit, I am disappointed that Covid and mandatory vaxxines will likely keep me from ever stepping foot on a cruise ship while in this temporary vehicle called my body. But. But who knows what opportunities lie ahead?
What has the Creator fashioned for the next phase? What if I get to sail the Tigris with King Jesus?
Now that would be the trip of an eternal lifetime.
It’s fun for me to fantasize about the future, but I believe Scripture has a deeper calling when we are commanded to keep our eyes on heaven and not earth. We’re not to be hoping for greater pleasures, but for a greater humanity.
Colossians 3:2 – Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Philippians 3:14 – I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus
Philippians 3:20 – But our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
2 Timothy 4:8 – In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
This, beyond all river-cruise dreams, is what I get really pumped about—men and women in their perfected and destined state, glorifying our Maker in truth and harmony. If the last 18 months has revealed any truth, it’s this: We need Jesus.
Let me be bold; let me be courageous and say, we’re speeding toward the end of our current state of being and it is a beautiful thing to behold. Just as He has foretold and promised, our Savior is working all things–all things pandemic, all things lawless, all things false–to the good of those who love Him. All things to the good. All things to perfection. All things to creation’s ultimate purpose.
Let’s keep our eyes on the glories ahead and not on what is slipping away.
If I perish, I perish,