“Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures…”
Psalm 90:10 (NIV)
Have you ever heard of the term ‘Bucket list’? It refers to a list of things you want to do before you die. Apparently the term comes from a Rob Reiner film called “The Bucket List” in which two terminally ill men (played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson) go on a road trip to do the things they wanted to do before they died (kicked the bucket).
Composing a bucket list helps to counteract the idea put forward by William Ross that “Every man dies—Not every man really lives,” and so to really live before you die you need to compose a bucket list and live your dreams.
For some this might include travelling the world, learning a new skill or attempting to do something dangerous or exciting, like bungee jumping or flying in a hot air balloon. As every birthday comes round nearer that threescore and ten (and then beyond) it begins to focus the mind—people think a little more seriously about the things that really matter. After all, as the writer of Psalm 90 points out, our days on this earth “quickly pass, and we fly away”.(Verse 10).
The ageing process affects all of us and we all face the same inescapable prospect. What should be on our bucket list before the inevitable happens? In this challenging prayer (Psalm 90) the psalmist provides some clues we can learn from:
We learn that a correct view of life includes a search for wisdom: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”(Verse 12).
We learn to be satisfied with God’s love: “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love” (Verse 14).
We learn to praise God for all He is and has done for us: “sing for joy and be glad all our days”.(Verse 14).
We learn to tell others about God’s unfailing love for us: “May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendour to their children” (Verse 16).
We learn to depend on God’s mercy and favour: “May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us” (Verse 17).
Wisdom, appreciation of God’s love for us, praising our God, sharing the gospel with others and walking in His grace; can these things be on our bucket list? We are never too old to learn them and as we maintain this perspective, we will enjoy the passage of time. As the poet Robert Browning wrote, “Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.”
Father, thank you that your wisdom, your love and your grace were shown to us perfectly in Jesus. May we always sing his praises and share this good news for the remainder of our lives.
Study by Barry Robinson
Worldwide Church of God Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove
LONDON SE5 7HN
Saturday 11 am
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