Tonight, as I go to bed, the door labelled 'Sixty-two' is right in my face. Whether I like it or not, the turnstile of life will open that door tomorrow and I'l enter the sixty-third year of my life. So, I pause to assess my life. Am I on goal? What have I achieved? Where am I going?
Often I hear people ticking off another item on their 'bucket list', but personally I've never written 'the twenty things I want to do before I die'. I agree with bucket lists in principle. Visions and goals are very important. They help keep us focussed and on task.
As I'm beginning to understand my life here one earth will one day come to and end, I've been considering this matter.
I've been on a mission trip in South Korea, revival in Florida, conference on Long Island and stood open-mouthed in Times Square New York. I've driven across the Golden gate bridge in San Francisco and walked the beaches on Hawaii. Yet none of these things were on my list. I've driven the great Ocean Road and watched the fairy penguins on Philip Island, explored Victoria and luxuriated in Port Douglas. I've watched babies being birthed, officiated at a wedding and written a book. I've lived life beyond what I could ask dream or even imagine! All this without my goals written on the wall.
Why don't I have a bucket list, I wondered? And I realised that my list is written in my heart.
What do I want to achieve before I die? What is at the top of my list? It hasn't changed since 1995. The closer I walk toward it, the bigger it gets. It burns in me like a fire that, in a way, is never satisfied. Will I ever be able to reach the goal?
It started simply. I was in a chapel service one day. God asked me to preach His message. We went through the usual process that goes something like this
Who are you talking to God? Me? Can't be? Are you joking? You're not! You can't be serious! You know me. I've can't speak well and I have a voice like a foghorn with a cold. Me preach? I don't think so...
But God always wins arguments. He does with me anyway.
As I emerge from the chapel, trying to repair my face, a lady waylays me. 'God gave me this! It is for you'.
She handed me a poem that described me preaching. The fire was lit. Every year it burns stronger. Preaching the word of God satisfies me like food.
Why? Do I want the attention and the platform? No! As I said at the beginning, I'm an old lady! But I love to see lives changed, people healed and released from years of emotional pain. I want everyone to experience the amazing love of God.
Yes, it's my birthday and I'm excited. There is another sparkling new year in front of me that is full of unimagined adventures to fill my bucket to the brim. Yes, I'm a lucky girl.