Wednesday, July 06, 2022

My Bucket List

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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire.  (Luke 24:32)

“Doug, what’s on your bucket list?  What do you want to do before you kick the bucket?  Before you die?  Before your life is over, kaput, fini, muerto?”

All right, well, it’s a short list.  In fact, my bucket list can be summed up in one painting by Yongsung Kim, one of my favorites.

It’s a wintry scene in the country.  It’s a cold but sunny day and a man is out for a walk.

In the painting he has stopped walking and is looking up to the sky, as if he’s pondering the weather, or something greater.

The man is painted to look like Jesus, in His robe and sandals, with a walking stick.

And behind him is a sheep, one solitary sheep.

They aren’t moving.  They are just standing there, Jesus looking up to the sky, and the sheep looking up to Jesus.

The sheep isn’t running off on his own.  The sheep isn’t pushing the shepherd to hurry up.  The sheep is just watching the shepherd, waiting for him to move.

The shepherd has led him to this place, and the shepherd will lead him to the next place, wherever that might be.

And that, my friend, is my bucket list in its entirety.

I want to closely follow the Good Shepherd wherever He leads.

As the song says, “Where He leads me I will follow.”

“But Doug, don’t you want to travel?  Aren’t there things you want to see before you die?”

You know…Jesus never went to Rome.  Isn’t that interesting?  It was the greatest empire the world had ever seen, with the greatest sights and greatest achievements.  People still flock to Rome today!  And yet Jesus never went.  Rome offered many advantages, so why didn’t Jesus go?

Jesus answers that question in John 5:19.  Verily, verily, I say unto you.  The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever the Father does, the Son also does in like manner.

In John 12:49 Jesus said that He didn’t even speak on His own, “but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.”  Then He said in verse 50, “…whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

Back to this painting by Yongsung Kim.  He titled the painting Heavenward, and it looks like Jesus is looking heavenward, like He’s looking toward the Heavenly Father, watching, listening, tuning in.

And there is the sheep, looking at the shepherd, and waiting.  The sheep isn’t going anywhere without the shepherd’s leading.

And that’s my bucket list, to keep my eyes on the Good Shepherd and to follow Him wherever He leads.

“But Doug, then you’re going to die and that’s the end and you will have missed out.”

Well, I’m already looking way past the death of this mortal body.  I’m already looking heavenward, toward eternity with God, and I’m not waiting until then to walk with Him.  I’m walking with Him now, and when the day comes I will walk right out of this body and into eternity with Him where that relationship will continue in whatever new and exciting ways He has planned.

Walking with God.  Following the Good Shepherd.  Listening for His voice.  Watching for Him to move.  That’s my bucket list, and I’m already doing it.

And I can’t think of anything more exciting or fulfilling or everlasting.

May God bless you today.

I’m Doug Apple.


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