Tuesday, August 6, 2013

“Your Armpits Smell Like Chicken Soup and I Like It (Dubstep Remix)”

On a recent episode of the Cooking Channel show “Bitchin’ Kitchen,” the comedian-chef-host Nadia G devoted the show to “bucket list dishes.” One of her shtiks was that she had fulfilled a “bucket list” goal, an album. The "song title" that I used for this post was one of several "songs" on her album, like “I Get Mad at Old People,” “When I Say LOL, It Means I Hate You,” “Die, Brooklyn Hipster Foodie, Die,” and others true to her edgy style. Watch the show to get the humor!

That phrase "bucket list" is popular and seems to be of recent origin, while the related expression "to kick the bucket" is much older (http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2011/11/09/bucket_list_what_s_the_origin_of_the_term_.html). If you survey your own life, what would you like to do (and even HAVE to do) before you kick that bucket?

I began asking that question rather early. When I was in 8th and 9th grade (1970-1972), four close relatives died within a fourteen-month time period. They were members of the older generation, family members who had been influential to my life and faith. (One did smell like home cooking!)

Tragedy and distress can be impediments and even destroyers of faith. Certainly distress has put my own faith to the test many times; I'm dealing with a few things right now. But those long-ago, successive funerals taught me at an impressionable age that we never know what’s ahead in life. Within a few years, this insight became fundamental to my growing faith because I wanted to live my life in a worthwhile manner---no one's life can be perfect or without regrets, but one's life can be worthwhile and beneficial. I knew first hand that we aren’t necessarily protected unexpected loses and different kinds of trouble, so if I wanted to live a faithful, meaningful life, I’d better not delay!

Over the years, I’ve periodically taken stock: what should I be doing right now if I died soon? That might after all be the case, though probably not. Still, it’s been a good thing to think about, not at all in a morbid way, but as a way to think how we are fulfilling some of our goals. Right now, for instance, I saw the chance to write and publish poetry, an aspect of my writing which I abandoned in the 1990s, because of busyness, partly because of self-doubt. There is tremendous satisfaction not only in doing something you love but also returning to a left-behind goal, or acting on a recent goal.

What would you like to be doing? What is holding you back, and can it be surmounted? How might your goal help others, in the Lord's name? Who in your life could encourage you and pray for you?

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