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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Bucket lists

Often people think about bucket lists when somebody close to them dies.

That's what happened for Candy Chang, an artist who, in 2009, created a space on a public wall in New Orleans with the prompt Before I die _____.

Within days the wall was completely filled. People wrote things like

• Before I die, I want to straddle the international dateline.
• Before I die, I want to sing for millions.
• Before I die, I want to be completely myself.

Soon the idea spawned over a thousand such walls all over the world:

• Before I die, I would like to have a relationship with my sister.
• Be a great dad.
• Go skydiving.
• Make a difference in someone's life.

I don't know if people followed through, but based on what I've seen in my office, a good number may have had momentary awakenings, done a little soul-searching, added more to their lists—and then neglected to tick things off.

People tend to dream without doing, death remaining theoretical. We think we make bucket lists to ward off regret, but really they help us to ward off death. After all, the longer our bucket lists are, the more time we imagine we have left to accomplish everything on them.

Cutting the list down, however, makes a tiny dent in our denial systems, forcing us to acknowledge a sobering truth: Life has a 100 percent mortality rate. Every single one of us will die, and most of us have no idea how or when that will happen. In fact, as each second passes, we're all in the process of coming closer to our eventual deaths. As the saying goes, none of us will get out of here alive.
Source: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Warding off regret or death is not the ultimate challenge, as final as death is.

The reason anyone has regret in the first place—and we all do—is because we have sin. There is an eternal cost to our sin. That is the ultimate thing to ward off: the losing of one's soul.

There is a Savior named Jesus who has paid that cost for us instead. Put your trust in Him, and you will gain that which you cannot lose.

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