September 17, 2022-
I have shared this story every year for more than decade now. Each year I re-read it and maybe make an adjustment or two.
My Bucket List
I turned 65 years old today. I had a thought early this morning, what if this is my last birthday? What if 65 is all I have?
Throughout the day I pondered over my Bucket List. There wasn’t much pondering, you see I have never had a Bucket List. So, the task, twelve years past on my 53rd birthday, was to create my Bucket List.
I scratched my head and put teeth marks in the proverbial pencil as I mused over what would be number one on my list. Minutes then hours passed with nothing rising to the surface. So, I changed strategies, I thought about the things that I have already accomplished or have been blessed with, things that may have been on a Bucket List if I hadn’t already experienced them.
Family always comes first to mind. I was born into the most incredible family 65 years ago. I still see them every week, we still talk and hug, and we laugh and cry together. We grow old together. Last year, Mom went home to be with our Lord. I do miss seeing her, but when I am with my sisters, it is as if Mom is right there with us, urging us on.
I have lived in the Great Northwest, the South Pacific, the east coast and the great state of Texas. I have fished for rainbows in the Russian River and went snorkeling along the Coral Reef.
I have left my footprints in the sand of Hawaii’s North Shore and boot prints in the frozen snow of Alaska’s North Pole.
I had hair past my shoulders and was called a Hippie. (I may have returned to that lately, not as long and certainly not as thick).
I have served my country and been called a U.S. Marine.
I went to school with Mark Twain and Thomas Edison and tasted college for a short while. I have read Tolstoy, Dickens, Stephen King and the Bible.
I have eaten at the Ritz Carlton and Taco Bell, both on the same day.
I have had money in the bank and I have sold Coke bottles to scrape up enough to buy a pack of smokes.
I have had cancer, chemo and misery.
I have had remission, recurrence and rejoice that I am still alive.
I have been high and I have been low, so low that all I could see was the bottom.
I have run marathons and I have crawled across the cold floor on hands and knees, unable to stand because of pain.
I have gone from a 34 waist to a 38 waist and back to a 34 waist. (it is okay to applaud here)
My favorite teams have won the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup and the World Series. I have watched a perfect game and caught a foul ball.
I have listened to Vivaldi, Miles Davis and ZZ Top, all in the same afternoon.
I have tasted Opus One in Napa Valley and drank a Lone Star beer with Willie Nelson and Mickey Gilley while sitting in the Recovery Room.
I have seen every episode of Seinfeld at least three times.
I’ve published a novel, a short story and have tucked away in the back of my imagination the Great American Novel.
I have fallen in love and out of love.
I have made love on a beach and on a mountain top.
I have had two wives, two ex-wives and six children. (Maximized the limit on both!)
I was with four of my children when they took their first breath.
I was with my father when he took his last.
I have done everything I want to do... almost. At the end of the day my Bucket List only had one thing written on it… you.
I figure if you are reading these words then you and I have at least met somewhere along the way. And I don’t know if I have ever told you the story about Jesus. You see, He is the reason I made it to 65. I know without Him I wouldn’t be here today.
So, on my Bucket List I wrote just one thing,
Today, tell someone about Jesus.
I think that someone is you, so here goes-
God loves you and me so much; He has since the very beginning of time. God knows everything from the beginning to the end; everything, every day and everybody by name. He knows your name.
God knew that we would never love Him as He loves us. He knew until we loved Him as he loves us we would be separated forever and ever. But we can't love like that because...because we are hooked on sin.
So, God sent His son down from the heavens, down to earth. We called Him Jesus, teacher, King and Messiah...
and then we killed Him.
And when He died, He took all your sins and all my sins. And from a wooden cross on Calvary, He paid the cost in full. He paid the price of our admission to an eternity with God. He did it for you and me. He unhooked us!
And then, incredibly, He told us, all you must do is believe, He has done the rest. It is finished.
If you were the only one in the entire world, He would have done it all for you.
Do you believe?
Thanks for listening. Thanks for helping me finish my Bucket List.