My Bucket List

Back in 2007 a movie called The Bucket List was released in theaters. The plot is about two terminally ill men who take a road trip with a list of things that they wish to do before they die, or “kick the bucket.” Of course this spawned a desire for people to create their own personal bucket lists, though I am sure the practice was already in use before the movie. There are even a number of websites that will give you some ideas to add to your wish list. (Two can be found here and here.) I am sure that if you rummage around the internet, you can find more lists than your brain can process that are related to this whole concept. (Side thought: If you gave someone a bucket and they kicked it, would you be an accomplice in their kicking the bucket? Philosophical I know.)

I have never given much thought to the idea, but the other day I was preparing some study notes for a lesson that I was teaching and I started thinking about what I would really want to do before I die. In part of the lesson I said that I would rather know that I had six months or a year left to live instead of dying suddenly in my sleep. The point is that I would want to tie up any loose ends that were hanging around in my life, which brings me back around to the bucket list. I mean, if I was given a chance to see certain places, experience certain things or do something truly spectacular, what would I put on my personalized bucket list? Naturally, I thought about it for a few days and came up with some adventures and activities. I’m sure I could add to this list if I thought about it longer and I’m sure the list will change over time. Then again, the point of the list is to do those things that you have genuinely always wanted to do, but have not had the chance. So here is my bucket list in no particular order.

1. See the Aurora Borealis: Not just see it, but be as far north as I physical can in order to see and experience it in all of its glowing, magnificent glory. I want to stand under it. Since I first heard about the Northern Lights as a child, I have always wanted to see it in person.

Maybe this will be me one day standing under the Aurora Borealis.

2. I want to visit the Grand Canyon. It may be one of the most remarkable sights in North America and one day I want to stand on its ledge and be dwarfed by its enormity.

Wow! What else could you say? Other than, "please step back a little from the ledge."

3. I want to attend the same worship service with my two brothers where all three of us are worshipping God and rejoicing in His salvation. It would be an added bonus if my dad was there with us.

One day we shall all gather together.....

4. I want to visit an underground apostolic church in China and see first-hand what they have to sacrifice to assembly together. We take our religious freedoms for granted in the US.

An "underground" church in China.

5. Walk through Machu Picchu: I have visited some ruins in Bolivia, namely Tiwanku and Incallajta, but they are dim candles in comparison to the Inca ruins tucked away high in the Peruvian hills.

An overview of Machu Picchu in Peru.

My daughter acting like the ruins of Incallajta are a jungle gym.

6. I want to live long enough to see my grandchildren get married. I know my children are only 11 and 8 at the moment and of course I want to see their marriages, but to see your grandchildren grow up would seem to be extra special to me.

Yes, one day they will grow up and leave the house (hopefully).

7. I want to see Victoria Falls: I still haven’t seen Niagara Falls yet, but those falls are a miniature version of the Victoria Falls located in Africa. By the way, if you have seen Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls are twice as big.

Ariel view of the Victoria Falls.

8. Visit Italy: I have never been to Europe, but Italy would be a fascinating place to visit. Not that I am especially fond of Italians or their food, but rather for the architect, the art, the Vatican and its amazing history.

Overlooking a city in Italy.

9. I want to fly over the Amazon with Bennie DeMerchant and visit some of the indigenous tribes he has worked with in Brazil. If you don’t know who he is, he is one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the UPCI. Visit his website here. I mean, I have flown over the Amazon River, but at about 30,ooo miles. I want to be in a two-seater, single engine plane skipping along the river.  

A piece of the Amazon.

10. Travel to the Great Pyramids of Egypt: To be able to see some of the oldest, most magnificent structures built by ancient man would be exhilarating for me.

It would be worth getting sand in my shoes to see these.

11. I want to be able to speak at least four other languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, and Quechua. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m about a 6 with Spanish and I have dabbled in the other three. (Onde estão os meus livros? Eu tenho que estudar muito! Vales-ne? Valeo, tibi gratias. Quis es? James sutiy. Maypi tiyakunki? Texaspi tiyakuni.) There, now you have a sample of Portuguese, Latin and Quechua, in that order.

Some indigenous quechua women.

12. I want to read the Bible all the way through in each language mentioned in #11.

A 12th century Latin Bible.

13. I want to see Mount Kilimanjaro from the African plane. I don’t even have to climb it; I just want to see it dominating the horizon, rising as if it was reaching for the moon.

Kilimanjaro rising above the planes of Africa.

14. I want to establish a thriving church in Santa Cruz, Bolivia from which we establish other daughter works throughout that region.

A picture from when we pastored a church in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2009.

15. I want to visit the country of India and see its grandest temples that are dedicated to thousands of gods and I hope I would weep at the site of the people making their sacrifices.

A temple in India.

16. I want to publish at least three books. That’s interesting since I haven’t published my first one yet.

I may not write this much, but I will keep writing.

I am sure I could easily add other sites and experiences to the lists, but these are the top ones. What do you think? Have you visited any of the above mentioned places? What are some of the top items on your bucket list? Share in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.

What's on your bucket list?

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About jcmarse

I married Anastacia in 1999 and we have two wonderful children. We currently live in Bolivia and work as missionaries.

2 responses to “My Bucket List”

  1. Mel. says :

    The “Bucket List confessional” has become a bit of a hot ticket in this section of the blogosphere, recently… which makes me appreciate how unique some of these desires really are.

    It’s one thing to want to swim in the salty waters of seven different seas, but quite another to want to share the act of worship with one’s family, or enjoy a service in another country… fascinating stuff, and I certainly wish you the best of luck in making these dreams come true.

    • jcmarse says :

      thanks for the comments. I suppose every list is unique and that’s why they are fun to read. Some of these I may not get a chance to do, but it always fun to chase dreams.

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