The phrase ‘bucket list’ refers to those things we want to do, to see, to go before we ‘kick the bucket.’ I am all for living life to the full because of an awareness of the brevity of our days here on this planet. In a hundred years, nobody will remember my name, probably not even my great grandchildren. So, common sense tells me to “go for it,” to make the most of the few days left, to feel and taste and smell and hear! That is a terrible mistake that misses the heart of Jesus’ message and promise.
IF we really believe what we say we do about heaven and eternal life, we will throw away those bucket lists that imply that when the lid of our coffin is closed that it is ‘game over.’
Would you read the prelude to a book and assume you know the whole story? That is a silly suggestion, isn’t it? But, that is how most of us live. Our journey through sunrises and sunsets is only the prelude to our forever existence yet we spend our energy and resources as if death is the end. What does it imply about our understanding of reality that we talk about an ‘after life?’ We are presently living in the ‘before life’ and our full lives await. We are not created just to find the next great meal, the best sex, or to make the most money! We are made to live in the Kingdom of God, in His reign, for His purpose, starting now. We should know that the fullness of that life is only revealed when we transit from this world to the next. And, knowing that, we should live to the full, but not with experiences of temporal pleasure. We should start discovering the joy of the Kingdom life now!
Does the way that you live reveal a disbelief in Jesus’ promise? He declared- “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25) I know what we say, but what do our choices today say about our grasp of Eternity’s promise?
We need a richer understanding of Heaven. Truthfully, if all we have to look forward to is sitting around singing “10,000 Reasons” forever while we swap tales of the life we lived on earth, it sounds boring. The glimpses of Glory that we do catch through the window of the Word show us that we join our Father in a life full of creativity, full of discovery, full of the richest of relationships – all without any of the complications of disappointment, failure, or endings. “Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:9-13, NLT)
The hope of the Resurrection Life, when understood and believed, changes everything about this day, this time! Jesus invites us to know the ‘secrets of the Kingdom.’ And knowing the reality that is hidden from those who are not alive in the Spirit He tells us –“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (Matthew 6:19-21, The Message)
Toss the bucket list and make a ‘heaven’ list, things that must be done before you go home, things that will survive your death. I am certain that those two lists will look very different, one focused on Me, on senses and sights; the other shaped around ‘faith, hope, and love’ those things that last forever.
Father, thank you for opening our minds to
the secrets of the Kingdom,
to the knowledge of our eternal existence.
Keep us from treating it like a fairy tale.
Forgive us for being so short-sighted.
Lift us up to catch glimpses of Life there.
And, lead us to the full and abundant life here
that prepares us to enter into LIFE with YOU forever.
Oh, put Heaven in our hearts, we pray.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen