Bucket List

Better To Do It While You Can, You Are Not Getting Any Younger

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, warned me that I better work at completing my bucket list in 2016. “It’s time to face the truth that with every year that starts new, your time is running out,” Ed told me far too enthusiastically. I always find it strange that Ed, who is ten years younger than myself, has already decided my pug could burn up at socket at any time. I think his wiring could also be a little loose and frayed. Ed insisted that I needed to get my list made and done of the things that I wanted to do before I die. When I told him, I could not think of anything he was pretty doubtful. “Nobody has done it all,” he said, “there must be something more you want to do before you die.” The best I could do was to tell Ed; I would think on it and get back to him sometime.

When I did get back to Ed, I told him I had come up with three points on my bucket list. The first on my list was: ‘Making it through a whole day without me making a dumb statement from my kidding around and exaggerating.’ Next on my list was. ‘Having one single Sunday at church where I knew everyone else’s name as well as my own.’ Lastly, I would like another whole day when I had a genuine smile and a kind and cheerful word for everyone I met.’ Ed was not impressed with my list and told me a bucket list is not a self-improvement list. He strongly suggested that I forget a bucket list for the time being.

I may not be much good at writing a bucket list for 2016, but I can share recognized prayers as precious requests of God for any year. First I share a prayer attributed to St. Francis. “Lord make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon, where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is dying that we are born to eternal life.”

The second prayer that can bless any year is the original version of Richard Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer: “God grant us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”

Because our God is not dead nor does he sleep, may he guide our feet into the path of peace as we pray: “In this year which begins in confusion, suspicion, and fear; hate runs deep as people still weep for innocent lives taken. Awaken our trust in your power to give peace among nations. Renew your peace in our hearts, hopes, and homes. Grant us peace on earth and goodwill among men.”

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Raymond Maher
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