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  • Shawn Thornton

Beyond our Bucket Lists

Tuesday - May 11th

Scripture to Read Today: Philippians 2:1-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.

Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

Philippians 2:3


Several reports showed up in the media in the last two months about unique ways in which we as humans are emerging from the first worldwide pandemic in a century. The year of COVID seems to be ending as more and more folks get vaccinated, and we understand so much more about the virus' transmission. The coronavirus impacted the psyche of every one of us in one way or another. We now approach life differently than we did before the pandemic.


Most of the trends being seen relate to how we are responding to the lifting of restrictions and greater freedom to do what we want to do. Because travel by RV seems safer and can keep us from too much exposure to others, it is nearly impossible to rent an RV for a week this summer. Since many companies learned that having employees in the office for the sake of being in the office may not be necessary, people are moving away from where they work. People are moving out of the cities into the suburbs. People in the suburbs are moving to rural areas.


Those who monitor the travel and vacation industries tell us there has been increased interest from people in fulfilling their bucket list this summer. A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die. Many feel the year of lockdowns and restrictions robbed them of going to places and doing things on their bucket list. Others anticipate potential setbacks with the coronavirus. They believe we need to do what we can do this summer because the window to travel might shut - and shut hard if a new COVID strain sweeps the world.


So, one article about people tackling their bucket list this summer listed several types of things people will take on this year - rather than plan to do at a later time. One woman interviewed in the article said she decided to visit her grandmother's grave in Ireland this coming July. Another person talked about taking a week-long hike in the Amazon. One young couple said they decided to go skydiving together over the famous sunflower fields of Hungary. They dreamed of doing it before they hit their forties, but in their late twenties, this young couple doesn't want to presume they will be able to do that in the future. Restrictions could return, limiting what things folks can do on their bucket list.


One of the dangers I think is on the horizon for us as individuals, couples, and families is being so focused on our own needs, wants, desires, and dreams in a post-COVID world that we forget others. COVID forced us to think about those in our household with little interaction with others outside of it. Now, more than ever, we have to think about the needs, wants, hurts, and dreams of others. Our agenda, plans, and bucket lists can seem pretty important, and they are. But, we can quickly emerge from COVID so focused on ourselves and our wants and needs that we never look outwardly at others.


Let's get beyond our own bucket lists. Let's get beyond our own dreams, plans, and needs. God wants to use the followers of Jesus to bring hope to those still stunned by the impact of COVID in the last year.


Paul said it clearly and succinctly, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves" (Philippians 2:3). It is great to get out of our houses again. It is so good to do the things we dreamt about doing while cooped up inside. But, let's think of others. Go out of your way to check on others. Take time to listen to your neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family.


Get beyond your own bucket list! Find ways to put the needs, wants, plans, and dreams of others ahead of your own!

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