“And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live” - The Rose
It’s a little more than halfway through Lent. I have put my focus on God for the last 21 days, and He has been faithful. Helping me with my questions, my doubts, my fears. I have taken them all to Him and while I am sure I will never run out of questions, or be satisfied with some of the responses, I am reaching a point where I can let go of the doubt and just trust. Trust that God knows what He is doing, that He is in control, which frees me up from feeling like I have to be in control.
Having said that, I look back over my life. And how much time I have spent focused on figuring out God, Christianity, religion. And I wonder how much of that has been driven by this fear that was instilled in me as a little girl about Hell. It’s been difficult for me to overcome what I internalized in my childhood. And I wonder how much this fear, which expressed itself as a fear of dying, has kept me from fully living.
People often talk of their bucket lists. A friend asked me today what’s on my bucket list and I said I don’t have one. I actually don’t have a bucket list. I definitely don’t need to go sky diving or bungee jumping to make my life complete, but I couldn’t in that moment think of anything that I dreamed of doing, or that I was passionate enough about to make sure I do it before I die. My friend, on the other hand, proceeded to count off ten things on his list.
So what does it mean exactly to put God first. I have been reading my Bible, going to Bible studies, retreats, focusing on His word and practicing service. All good things but what about enjoying life. Just living life as a way to honor God. Enjoying his creation, enjoying friends, good food, seeing the world. In other words doing something just because.
I think its time to make up my own bucket list. And if I can muster up the courage, maybe I’ll even knock a few items off of it.