My Bucket List

The new year is often a time for making resolutions. It marks a time that lends itself to starting over or beginning a new project or changing a pattern of behavior. If you are like I am, you have discovered how easy it is to fail in following through with those resolutions and how quickly we tend to return to our habitual ways of living life. Some years I have decided not to make any resolutions because my track record in follow-through is so disappointing.

There is a story of two men who met each other in the hospital. Both of them were being treated for terminal medical conditions. As they visited with each other in their shared hospital room, they formed a bond based on their common struggle to come to terms with the likelihood that they were nearing the end of their lives. They developed a list of things they wanted to do or experience before they "kicked the bucket." I've had this on my own mind the last few weeks because my cousin, who wasn't that much older than I am, died very unexpectedly the day after his retirement celebration.

My plan is to live until Jesus comes. But whether or not that happens, I have been working on my own bucket list. One of those things is to set foot on each of the seven continents of the world. (I have two yet to go — South America and Antarctica.) Another one is to go through all my books and figure out what to do with them because my daughters are interested in only a few. If I could deal with the books, I could accomplish another thing. That is to get rid of enough stuff in my garage so I can actually park a car in there. Yet, another goal is to build or buy a harpsichord and learn how to play it.

Those bucket-list items are not earthshaking. They do not have eternal consequences. But I have some other items on my list that are much more important to me — things like making sure my wife knows how much I cherish her and value our nearly 40 years of marriage. I wish to talk with my daughters and granddaughter about the heritage of our family and the principles of life that we believe will motivate each of us to keep our relationship with Jesus growing and strong. I want to use my influence as a church leader to keep the focus of everything we do on the gospel mission, and what we have been tasked to accomplish under the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. I want to be a faithful steward of the resources God has entrusted to me and to His work in the Pacific Northwest. I want to be an encourager and motivate others from a positive rather than a negative frame of mind. I want to enable people to be a part of God's plan to finish the work in the North Pacific Union Conference and be prepared to see Jesus coming in the clouds of glory.

What's on your bucket list? Every day is the beginning of the rest of your life, and through His grace you can accomplish great things for Him.

"I want to use my influence as a church leader to keep the focus of everything we do on the gospel mission ..."

January 01, 2012 / Editorial
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Max Torkelsen II, North Pacific Union Conference president