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.
“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;
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 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.”