THE REV. DUKE TUFTY, Unity Temple on the Plaza: My suggested bucket list for Christians is the same as it would be for any other person, religious or not.
There will come a time for each of us when our time here will be complete, and we will leave this world. For me, when that time comes, I think the most important thing is to have no regrets.
I have presided over many memorial services, and it seems as if the one who cries the loudest and suffers the most is the one who had a falling out with the deceased and never got around to reconciling. As a result they are extremely regretful, with no means of relief.
Same goes for the deceased. If there had been knowledge that one’s time was near and the person did nothing to heal a fractured relationship with another, then that person will leave this world with a saddened heart. I have witnessed this between children and parents, siblings, one-time best friends and spouses.
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The most important practice one can have in his or her life is that of forgiveness.
Forgive literally means to give for. Give up feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness or hurt for peace of mind and a sense of well-being. Without forgiveness harsh feelings remain in us, and whether we are aware of it or not, they weaken us.
Forgiveness should be a daily practice. Two bits of advice: be slow to take offense and quick to forgive; daily wipe the slate clean.
THE REV. BOB HILL, pastor emeritus, Community Christian Church: The variety of “bucket lists” — actions or experiences that people hope to fulfill before they die — are endlessly wondrous and intriguing: visit every major league baseball park; learn how to cook crawfish etouffée; read all of Alice Walker’s writings; dance with each of your children at their weddings; and on and on.
Such lists for religiously and spiritually inclined folks often focus on global holy places like Jerusalem, Rome, Mecca, Lambini, the Ganges River. Others center on the birthplaces of founders and exemplary leaders in one’s tradition.
A bucket list for Christians needs to be fashioned individually, with an eye toward personal fulfillment and compassionate care for others. Surely some of the following would qualify as bucket list items:
▪ Say thanks to those who have contributed the most to your life and faith.
▪ Discover the holy places (akin to Bethlehem and Sinai) wherever you live.
▪ Attend a worship service of a faith different from your own.
▪ Read through the entire Bible, at least once, applying lessons learned from it along the way.
▪ Participate in a mission trip.
▪ Share Communion in another country.
▪ Make friends with your biggest doubt.
▪ Experience one moment of pure, focused attention on the sheer presence of God.
The best attitude for constructing such a list is not as mandatory obligation but as an adventurous opportunity to gain deeper connections with God, one’s faith traditions and the human family.
Begin today, even if you’re years away from kicking the bucket.
Voices of Faith is edited by The Kansas City Star. To reply or ask a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.