Making a “Bucket List” became popular a few years ago following the release of the Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman movie by that name.

I’m sure the desire to accomplish certain things or see exotic places before you die–or before you “kick the bucket”–is a part of human nature. It could be called “Things to Do Before I Die” or “Lifetime Goals” or “Dream List” or–you get the idea.

You can find books titled 100 Things to Do in [Name a City] Before You Die, websites that offer suggestions and encouragement, and how-to articles on creating your own list. One blogger provides this definition: “A bucket list is a collection of goals, dreams, and aspirations that you would like to accomplish within your lifetime” (

There’s nothing wrong with making such a list. Becoming a published novelist would have been near the top[Tweet “Does your Bucket List focus only on the tangible & ignore the spiritual?”]of my own list, and I accomplished that in 2013. Making an overseas missions trip was another item, which I did in 2014. I’d still like to experience the Northern Lights, visit Israel, and so on.

But I’ve long worried that such “goals” focus only on the tangible and temporal but don’t take into account the eternal or [Tweet “What is the most important thing to do before you die?”] the spiritual aspect of our lives. Most such lists emphasize experiences over character, and self over relationships.  A couple of recent sermons by our pastor confirmed this concern. After all, the Bible says, “For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes” (James 4:14).

So over the next few weeks, I’m going to talk about some items that I think should be on every individual’s “life list.” I hope you’ll join me and give these things some consideration. In the meantime, what’s on your list? What is the one most important thing to do before you die?