What is on your list of experiences to enjoy before you “kick the bucket”?
You’ve probably seen a movie or TV show wherein a character achieves some lifelong dream, then sighs, “Now I can die happy.” Do you have such a dream, or a list of them?
In the movie Flower Drum Song there is a Rogers and Hammerstein song, “Happy Talk”, that contains the phrase, “You got to have a dream, If you don’t have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?” and there is a lot of truth in that.
I wrote a curriculum for middle school Sunday school classes that included a unit on goal setting. It included a chart for the students to fill out with their life’s dreams or goals.
The chart was like the grand staircase from Gone with the Wind. At the top, in place of Scarlet O’Hara in a ball gown, was the beautiful goal of all Christians, “Pleasing God.”
On lower stair steps my students listed a long-term goal such as their hoped for career or college choice. Further down I asked them to list a more immediate goal and, near the bottom, their plans for the next week.
We discussed how each decision a person makes in life should be taken in light of the way it moves them on this staircase, by first asking “Does this choice take me closer to my next goal, further away, or merely move me sideways with no significant impact.” Each step and every goal in the series has to remain subservient to the beautiful goal at the top. Trying to take stair treads out of order can trip you up. Putting lesser goals above the ultimate one can cause a tumble that will leave you back at the bottom, bruised and battered.
This same chart can be an effective tool with your women’s ministry. The “Scarlett O’Hara” goal for Christians is always the same. The lower goals might be used to plan the year’s events or for a three-year program or for writing a new mission statement for your organization. If you keep the ultimate goal always before you and make sure the steps between where you are now and where you are heading keep you moving up it helps to clarify the focus of your group.
When we are very small our goals, the bucket list of things we need to feel fulfilled, are basic: food, comfort, someone who cares enough to meet our needs.
In old age the list tends to be similar, but in the years between it is easy to get distracted from the essentials and include things on the list that really don’t matter very much.
For a Christian, the first item on our list has to be to please God in everything we do. If the other items on the list clash with that, we need to strike them off.
Take a few minutes to jot down the things you feel that you still need to do for your life to feel complete. Perhaps they can be combined to lead you right to the top of the stairs. If not, perhaps you need to rethink that list.