By now, most of you have heard or seen the movie, “The Bucket List” starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholas. It’s a movie about two terminally ill men who have a wish-list of things they would like to do before they “kick the bucket.” This is how their friendship develops and their adventure begins. Morgan plays a man of faith while Jack is basically an atheist. By the end of the movie, however, the viewer sees Jack beginning to step out of his cynicism and comes to a greater sense of faith. He then experiences his estranged family reconciled again. If you haven’t seen it, you should rent it and enjoy.
I think everyone should have some sort of “bucket list” whether be traveling to another country to see where your ancestors came from or going on a pilgrimage like Rome or the Holy Land. (For Catholics, I think Rome should be on everyone’s list.) It might be seeing our nation’s capital, going to some famous city, putting your bare feet into both oceans, holding your first grandchild, or going on a hot air balloon ride. I wouldn’t recommend jumping out of airplane, although that may be on some crazy person’s list! Whatever it is, it should enrich your life. St. Ireneaus once said, “The glory of God is man/woman fully alive!” I think a bucket list helps in that. It also gives us something to look forward to as we enjoy the greatness of God’s creation and our world.
For myself, I have been fortunate enough to have done a lot of things. I have traveled to many places around the world, including those that are significant to our Catholic Faith. I have built a lot of things and participated in just about every sport, when I was younger of course! These old bones don’t move so well now. I have even had the chance to scale some beautiful mountain peaks and seen a lot of nice places in my short time as a geologist. There are still plenty of things I could do which I have not, but at this point, because I have had some similar experiences, if I don’t get to them, I am O.K. with that.
Most of you know I like being out in the wilderness, and that I like to hunt and fish. One thing that has always been on my bucket list is to go on an elk and mule deer hunt. This month in October I will have my chance! Starting soon, I will be going with one of my brothers and several other friends on a 2-week mule deer and elk hunt in Colorado. I am looking forward to this very much. We will be using pack-horses to climb into the high country and then live in a wall tent. Now, that’s my kind of life! This said, I will be gone a good part of October and into November as well. Usually I spread my vacation time out throughout the year, but this year I am bunching it up. So, starting with Clergy Conference Oct. 1-4 then, grouse hunting, Oct. 4-9, followed by Elk/mule deer Oct. 19-30th then white tail deer hunt Nov. 3-10th, this means I will be gone for most of the following weeks. Don’t worry all the Masses are covered, but during this time, you will not know who your pastor is! In 27 years, I have never taken a sabbatical (which most priests do every 7-9 years) so this is my way of getting some real rest and be refreshed. By November 10th I will be back ready for parish life again.
So, please keep me in your prayers as I will also be praying every day. Here’s to a happy and safe time in God’s good earth!
Words to live by: “There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, “What happened?” Let’s all be one of those who make thing happen!