The good folks at Knox Presbyterian in Naperville, Illinois have given me a proverbial whack along the side of the head. And I’m still a bit dazed.
I wrote this nice book called What If God Wrote Your Bucket List? and it was never supposed to actually be a list of things to do. In my puny mind, the impact of the book would be that God wants us to stop pursuing activities and instead work on our relationships with Him and others.
Each chapter includes a charming story and a takeaway that leads us to be a little better at trusting God, expressing gratitude, loving enemies, letting go of guilt, defending the faith, peeking into dark corners, pursuing truth, being ready to die, and so on.
These were all ideas, not assignments! The word “bucket” was a metaphor!
(And by the way, the recently-released book is selling very well and no reader has yet been forced to pick up an actual bucket.)
But this Sunday at 7 PM — and you’re invited if you live in the Naperville area — most of the attendees coming to hear me talk will literally be carrying a five-gallon bucket filled with household items for a local shelter and transitional living community. It’s a stunning application of the book’s principles I had never imagined. It turns out, dozens of members of the Knox faith community are regular volunteers with that worthy ministry.
Where does that leave us? Well, you still cannot work your way into heaven. Grace is a free gift. But James 1:22 tells us, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
Making a list of worthwhile things to do before you kick the bucket is not a bad idea. (It probably does not need to include swimming with sharks or bungee jumping from the Eiffel Tower.) Bottom line: Doing is almost as important as being.
Put another way: Anytime you can take a spiritual truth and move it from your head to your heart, do that. But if you can move it from your heart to your hands, wow.