The Bucket List

Gabi Rizea: Romanian sculpture of rotting tree stump into bucket perpetually pouring out

The following is taken from Ann Voskamp’s reflections on the “bucket list”:

… I wander into a little Mennonite General Store in a village so small you’d miss it if you blinked too fast. The 100-year-old wooden floor planks creak. No electricity or lights or fluorescent bulbs buzz or flicker. Lanterns hang in grey lit rooms, brave flames burning back the morning’s mist. A wood stove crackles in the middle of the store, surrounded by shelves of kettles and pots and stacks of bread pans.

And there it is — on a windowsill of an old wavy glass window —- a wee little miniature steel bucket.

I pick it up.

That is what you often pick up when you’re in pain — a bucket. Like you’re carrying a bucket of weight. Like you can fill yourself up with all the things to drown out all the pain. Like if you fill yourself up with a bucket list of all the experiences — you could douse out all the pain.

Pour your heart out…

I turn the little bucket around in my hands — and there it is in my bruised heart: Maybe the best way to deal with pain in your heart — is to pour your heart out.

Slowly — I tip the bucket over.

Maybe…. When I hit the bucket— I don’t want to leave a bucket list as much as I want to leave an empty bucket — a life poured right out.

Maybe — the best kind of bucket list — is a list of how to pour your bucket out. The purpose of your life is to find your gift — and give it away.

The gifted are the ones who find their gift — make it into a gift for the world.

The bucket sits perfectly in the palm of my hand. I can’t stop thinking:

Maybe — the best way to get rid of your pain — is to pour your life out.

Maybe empty buckets — are the fullest kinds of buckets.

If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to Me, you’ll find both yourself and Me. (Matthew 10, The Bible)

Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others. Get beyond yourselves and protecting your own interests; be sincere, and secure your neighbors’ interests first.

In other words, adopt the mind-set of Jesus the Anointed. Live with His attitude in your hearts. Remember: Though He was in the form of God,He chose not to cling to equality with God;

But He poured Himself out to fill a vessel brand new…” (Philippians 2, The Bible)

Christ poured Himself out — to make us new vessels. And as we pour out the Christ in us — Christ makes new vessels all around us — and in us.

When you pour out your broken heart, pour out your life — you pour out your pain.

It keeps falling on my cracked places like a gentle rain:

Live with His attitude in your hearts.

Christ’s attitude about hearts — was to pour them out — not to try to protect them.

Let your heart live unguarded again — and you let love capture you all over again.

In the upside down Kingdom, you have to guard your heart from being wrongly guarded.

Guard your Heart?

True: You guard your heart against sinful thoughts getting in… or out — but don’t guard your heart against love… that needs to get in or out. Guard against sins — but not against hearts.

Guard your heart against evil — and there is no doubt: a prison of loneliness is evil.

Guard your heart from the things that will crush your heart: bitterness, loneliness, uneasiness, defensiveness.

Guard your heart from being guarded because everything you do flows out of your heart — and a heart can’t flow if it’s walled off, blocked in, and shutting out.

Your heart can’t be walled in — because your heart has to flow out. Because out of the overflow of your heart, your whole life flows.

Live with walls to block out pain — and you will block out all the love that’s trying to get in.

Live with walls to block out pain — and those same walls will block your own love from flowing out.

Your job is not to find love. Your job — is to find all the walls you’ve built to keep love out. Because you have to tear down those walls — so your own love can flow out. This is only way your life can flow out — this is the only way you can live…


Taken from Ann Voskamp: “The Absolute Best Bucket List You Can’t Miss — Or You Miss Out on the Life You’ve Always Wanted.”

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About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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2 Responses to The Bucket List

  1. CLEvangelism says:

    “The purpose of your life is to find your gift — and give it away.”
    !!!
    T
    Occasionally, I pick up one of the seven or eight library books I rented months ago and flip to a random page. This morning, it was p. 136 of “Seize the Day” by Joyce Meyer. First, she quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson: The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
    Then, she said, “Once we discover our gift or talent, the next thing we need to do is give it away.”
    I was saving that for my memoir but: 🎁.
    I always say coincidences tell me I am where I’m supposed to be. I couldn’t have had this coincidence if you hadn’t written this post. Maybe knowing this will be a gift to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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