"Bucket List" is one of those phrases from across the pond that has invaded our language. It's the list of things you'd like to do before you kick the bucket. I learnt it from the film.
You might call them your life goals. Your dreams. Your hopes for the future. The things that you are pursuing.
Now some of those may well be about fun or adventure. I'd like to walk the Welsh coast path from end to end. (OK not that adventurous!) Other people want to skydive or climb Everest or write a novel. They tend to be the bucket list style goals.
But most of our life goals are simply about... normal life. I guess for most of us they're not about taking over the world or becoming a billionaire. They're rather more modest. Progressing in our career. Seeing our children grow up happy and healthy. Having a home we are comfortable in, with space enough to relax and do what we want.
As a pastor my life goals have a veneer of divine importance! To see the church grow as more people come to follow Jesus. To see people built up and trained to serve Christ for a lifetime. To help people trust in God through the rough times as well as the good. None of those things are wrong. But they can all be tainted by a whiff of pride. They can all be about me feeling good about myself because I've achieved something. Well done me!
I was struck this morning by the apostle Paul's life goals for the young Christian leader Timothy. These are the thing that he is to pursue. To chase down. To hunt after. To strain for with every muscle in his body and every desire of his heart.
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness,faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11)
The "all this" is the love of money. Probably the thing at the heart of most people's life goals.
The alternatives are all about character lived out in relationship. They are about who he is and how he treats others. They're about being more like Jesus. That should be our primary life goal. Because that is God's life goal for us. According to Romans 8:28-29 He is using all things for our good so that we are "...conformed to the image of his Son...".
So my goal for tomorrow is a bit more love and gentleness at breakfast. Even if I am assaulted by the contents of the cupboard when I open it. Again!