The 2007 movie Bucket List followed two terminally-ill men facing the end of their lives. They each listed things they wanted to do before they “kicked the bucket” (died), which they called their “bucket list.” Then they set out to do as many of those things as possible.
This movie inspired many people to make their own bucket list.
Some bucket list items are extravagant and expensive, while others are simple tasks that could be done at any time and for little money. Some people list dreams outside their control, such as falling in love or getting married. Others write down goals or resolutions, such as graduate from college or lose weight. Some items on people’s bucket lists are things I’ve already done, but most are things I don’t care to do or figure aren’t worthwhile.
As for myself, I don’t have a bucket list.
This bothered me. Did the absence of a bucket list portray a lack of imagination? No, left unchecked my imagination swells to Walter Mitty proportions. Does it mean I’ve already done everything I want to do? Far from it, I have much remaining on my to do list. Even more worrisome, does an empty list reveal a lack of ambition? I hope not. I have many goals and dreams, but none of these are bucket list material; they are merely living life to its fullest.
I think my lack of a bucket list is simply a sign of contentment.
It’s not that I don’t want to do more and don’t strive to accomplish things, it’s that I’m content with who I am and were I am. This contentment isn’t natural for me but a reflection of the God who is at work in me.
While I thank God for the imagination, work, and ambition he gave me, I also thank him for a contentment that fills me with peace and removes an unhealthy yearning for what I don’t have.
I don’t have a bucket list, and I’m okay with that. Thank you God!
[This is from the January 2015 issue of Peter DeHaan‘s newsletter. Sign up to receive the complete newsletter each month via email.]