My Bucket List
And Israel said, “It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.” Genesis 45:28
I’ve got some stuff on my bucket list. I’d like to see New Zealand. I want grandchildren and I’d love to be able to help raise them. I’d like to be able to see my own children continue to grow into responsible, healthy adults who follow God’s will for their lives. I’m not sure if those last couple of items are the kind of things that are supposed to be on a bucket list, but they’re important to me. Speaking of “most important things”, I’d like to one day be able to look back on my life and see that I never relapsed again. I’d like to be able to reflect on a life that was pointed at God and his will. I want to see that I lived a life that meant something of eternal significance. I’d like to make a difference in the lives of those around me, loving my neighbors and pointing them to faith and recovery.
In my addiction, I wasn’t proud of my life. Rather, I was embarrassed by it. I knew that if I’d have died in my addiction, my life would have been a colossal waste. Finding recovery was on my bucket list but it was always something I was going to do tomorrow. If I’d have made a list of all the things that were most important to me, my life would have appeared completely backwards because I wasn’t pursuing any of those things. Instead, I spent my time pursuing my pills. I hated that about my life, but I was addicted and my pills made my decisions for me. Recovery then, has meant completely rearranging my life so that I’m daily pursuing that which is truly important.
Today’s passage illustrates this. In the story, Jacob learned that Joseph was still alive, years after he’d thought his son was killed by wild animals. At that moment, he proclaimed that his life would be complete if he could just go see Joseph one more time. From then on, his every energy was focused on making that trip to Joseph. Then I can die. Jacob made the journey and lived long enough to bless both Joseph and his sons. Jacob knew what was important and he pointed his life at it, making it happen.
Daily, I must do the same. I found recovery and though I’m far from perfect, I can now look back on my last nine years and say that I’ve pointed my life at God, seeking his will. I’ve continued to make mistakes, but I’m no longer addicted, and I’ve used my life experiences to point others to faith and recovery. My journey isn’t yet over though. If I stopped pursuing God’s will today, I could still relapse. So today, and every day, the most important thing in my life is that I continue to point myself at God and his will. I may or may not ever see New Zealand, but today, I am capable of doing the most important thing in my life – pursuing God. So today, I’ll seek God and his will for my life. Tomorrow, I’ll do the same. In doing so, I’m continually living out my bucket list.