“A life is not something you choose. It’s something you live.” ~ from the movie, “The Way.”
Four months and change from now, I’ll turn 47.
It’d be nice to call it midlife, but the odds weigh against that assumption.
Over the last three weeks, I’ve experienced some significant life changes, in career, life outlook, relationships and a general approach towards the way I think, mostly from the heart.
It’s been a true exercise in freedom. Really, it has.
Embraced mostly through it all is peace – the peace of living out a God-intended life. I believe He gives us gifts, you see, and His intention is their use for a higher purpose, pleasure and greater good.
Several years ago, I created a fledgling “bucket list” – things I’d like to do before I die. At the time of its inception, it was a simple wish list, half-heartedly composed, stained by the ever-lingering subconscious thought of disbelief.
So I’m now revising my bucket list, one that’s realistic and based in confidence. Not just hope.
The bucket list has nothing to do with professional goals. I’ll save that post for another day. The Bucket List – It’s all about a passionate pursuit for life and growth. So here goes:
1. Anyone with a love for adventure would be fascinated by a book published several years ago by Jon Krakauer titled, “Into Thin Air.” It’s a journalists’ account of a Mount Everest expedition that ended in horrific tragedy. Standing on top of the world … what could be more adventurous? But here’s the deal. Relative to the heavens, the “highest” point on Earth is Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo. Relative to sea level, yes, Everest is the highest, but because the Earth is not perfectly round and Mount Chimborazo is essentially a bump at the Earth’s highest “bulge point.” It’s actually 1.5 miles closer to the heavens than Everest. I will stand on Mount Chimborazo and reach for God’s face.
2. Shortly after, I’ll drive south with golf bag in hand. I’ll play the highest course in the world. At a 10,800-foot elevation, Bolivia’s La Paz Golf Club, is, in fact, the world’s highest. If I catch it right, the thin air may just permit my first 275-yard drive.
3. I’ll step foot on the Antarctic continent. It’s the most desolate place in the world. I’m going there.
4. Spain. I’ll go there, and I’ll walk the route of Santiago de Compostela. Alone. It’s an 800 km trek, or around 500 miles by foot. Christian pilgrims have made the journey to the burial site of St. James for thousands of years. As so many others have, I’ll journal the experience, and maybe learn more about myself, contemplate my shortcomings and repent for my many sins.
5. In the springtime, I’ll take up residence in Tornado Alley, and chase the elusive vortex so destructive, yet so amazing.
6. For hours, I’ll battle a great swordfish off the Ecuadorian coast. And I won’t disgrace the great fish by mounting him on the wall as some trophy. I’ll eat the fish and use his bill as a walking stick in my old age.
7. I’ll buy a picturesque ranch in South America that will become a haven, retreat and place of rejuvenation for Christian missionaries from around the world, whereupon their every desire will be granted.
8. I’ll run with the bulls in Pamplona.
9. I’ll stand in the great Colosseum, and honor the ancient gladiators. For a moment, I’ll pretend I’m Maximus Decimus Meridius and play to the crowd.
10. In Greece, I’ll find my way to the ancient route of the world’s original marathon, and I’ll train, and summon up the courage to run 26 miles, one last time.