Is the Bible on Your Bucket List?

Many people have “bucket lists” – things they want to do before they can’t do anything. I know that one of my items is to visit all 50 states. I am missing three: North Dakota, Minnesota, and Hawaii. When the pandemic is over and I feel that it is safe to travel again, I’ll start chipping away at my list.

The desire to complete a bucket list leads to competition with myself. No one told me that this item had to be on my list. I just have it as a personal goal that relates to one of the things I love to do – travel. I have one friend who visited not only all 50 states but all 50 capitol buildings in those states. Another friend accomplished the goal of visiting every professional baseball park. 

I can understand, then, a friend’s recent trip to Vermont. Bill Wilson was vacationing in Connedicutt when he found himself with an unscheduled day. 

This was his Facebook post: “Had a free day today, so…drove nonstop 120 miles to Vermont, exited, reversed direction and came straight home, and thus completed my quest to visit all 50 states. 😎

He adds: “Next…only 2 more continents to go…Australia and Antarctica”

Bill’s bucket list includes bigger travel than 50 states!

People commented on Bill’s post. Most were notes of affirmation and celebration. Some of us were a little more skeptical. 

Edwina Rowell

In my book, a person has to have a meal and stay at least 4 hours to say you have visited a place. I haven’t claimed Tokyo because I was only at the airport

Bettie Moore Whitworth

Now, does that really count? 😂😂😂😂

Mary Lynn Jones

But did you have any Ben and Jerry’s? Is it really a trip to Vermont without it? What a wonderful feat. Miller’s uncle made it his goal to play golf in all 50 states and he did.

And, mine:

Rick Jordan

I think this is kin to saying, “I scanned the contents page of War and Peace, so count that read.”

What constitutes a “state visit” in your book? A step across the border? A half-day with a meal? Seeing the “best of” in a state? Spending time with the locals?

I relate this to the New Year’s resolution some people make: “I am going to read the whole Bible in a year.” 

It is a bucket list goal. No one is made to do this – it is one thing the resolver just wants to do for themselves.

Or, maybe, one thing they want to be able to tell others they have done. Besides the great feeling we have when we have accomplished a goal, is there a better feeling than being able to tell others what we accomplished? That drive for others’ affirmation probably motivates a lot of our goals. “You look great! Have you lost weight?” coming from a friend motivates us to keep up the pace and good habits.

Read the entire Bible in a year? Great goal. Others want to read the Great Classics or all the works of a favorite author. Great goals. And if you want to read through the entire Bibe in a year, there are plenty of plans to help you accomplish that goal. 

Reading through the Bible is different from reading other great (or fun) literature, though. For one thing, it’s a lot harder. One book does not flow easily into the next. Even the most reader-friendly, modern translations cannot erase the thousands of years difference in culture, mores, attitudes, political systems, etc. 

Another difference is that the Bible was not designed to be read through like a novel. It is written to be digested. This takes time to read, then ponder. That means that you could read the book of Ephesians in 15 minutes or the gospel of Mark in less than an hour. But do you want to? It is helpful if you want to get the entire “story” in one reading. Yet, we find ourselves lost in pondering a story or a phrase. We stop reading and start staring at nothing, letting the words fill us and mold us.

Read the entire Bible in a year? Great goal. You can say that you officially checked that off of your bucket list.

I would encourage you, though, to not merely “cross the boundary line” of this holy book. Spend time in the place. Get to know the locals. Eat a meal at a local restaurant and digest it while observing a beautiful vista. There’s more to enjoy than can be done in a Welcome Center visit.

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