My bucket list is full. And it is not getting emptied out any too quickly.

Unfortunately, no amount of frequent flyer points will help deal with my bucket list dilemma. A bank account full of cash is not going to handle the backlog. No change of circumstance will enable me to tick of any of the items on my list. Retirement won’t even help.

The list of things I would like to get done before I die cannot be paid for with a charge card.  You won’t find them in a store; they are not advertised on TV; they cannot even be purchased on line. The items on my list are unrelated to any situation in the external realities of my life.

My bucket list is filled with:

Love more deeply.

Open more fully.


Embrace my vulnerability.


Exercise surrender more consistently.

Listen more carefully.

Be more kind.

Practice patience more often.

Live in the world with greater gentleness.

Allow space.

Practice greater compassion.

Be more sensitive to the realities of peoples’ lives.

Forgive more readily.

Be less judgmental and critical.

Resist less.

Be less controlled by external circumstance.

Be more consistently honest, genuine and authentic.

Have greater courage.

Move more readily to stillness and silence.

See beauty.

Live more peacefully.

Live with greater contentment with life just as it is.

Live more freely.

The problem with my bucket list is that it has no bottom. It is always possible to be more kind and compassionate. There is no end to the capacity of love to grow and expand. The goal posts just keep moving.

So, perhaps more important than the items on my bucket list, may be the call to stay close to the promise of The Letter To the Ephesians:

by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)

It is impossible for me to “do” my bucket list. My bucket list can only be done in me and through me, by a power greater than self-will, self-determination, or self-discipline. The items on my list all depend on that mysterious force Christian tradition calls “grace”. It is the energy that brought the universe into existence. It fuels the sun and keeps the earth turning on its axis. Grace is the power of love and life.

The good news, as the writer of Ephesians goes on to point out, is that to

each of us was given grace. (Ephesians 4:7)

Grace is present in my life. There is nothing more I need to attain. I do not need to learn anything, acquire any missing skill, or take a course in how to manage my bucket list. I need only to rest and trust in that power in me that is at work enabling me to be here and now the person I was created to be.

The only thing I need to do in order to continue growing in my ability to fulfill my bucket list is to open more deeply

to him who by the power at work within [me] is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all [I] can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)