Weepy Warning: I promised Lydia I'd post a warning on posts that have tear potential. Because this one deals with a list of things I may never get to do, it qualifies. Tissue may be required. LOL
It’s one of those days. You have them too, mine just scream louder because I’m dying faster. You know, the days when you can only think of the things you will never get to do. Previously I’ve only thought of this list based upon my personal or leadership limitations. I understand very well John Maxwell’s “Law of the Lid.” That we all have a life lid and, despite what our parents told us growing up, there are some things we will never be able to accomplish. But there is also that list of things that you planned to get to later. The list of “dream jobs” that you hoped you’d have. Though my experience with “dream jobs” is that they are always better on the wish list than in real life. There is always a lot of stuff that you don’t know that goes along with what you do know about the job…but that’s another blog (LOL). I guess on “those days” you also tend to ramble more than normal.
Today, it seems, I’m keenly away of the things that I will never get to do because, well, unless God intervenes (and I still believe God can, I got that Pentecostal heritage that names it and claims it) I am just going to flat run out of time. Some of the things are personal, some relational, and some vocational. It seems like the list keeps getting longer but here is a sample of the things I’m going to miss:
1. I will never get to walk my daughter down the aisle.
2. I will never see my grandchildren graduate kindergarten or high school or college.
3. I will never return to Maua, Kenya and visit my friend Reegan and see the great work ZOE Ministry is doing.
4. I will never visit The Foundry and tour the John Wesley sites in England.
5. I’ll never worship at Westminster Abbey
6. I’ll never see Notre Dame
7. I’ll never drink ale in a pub in Ireland.
8. I’ll never get to wade in the Dead Sea or see Jerusalem.
9. I’ll never get to be a teaching pastor at a large church (it was kind of a slim chance anyway but pretty much nobody hires an associate who is dying…LOL).
10. I’ll never get to teach at Duke Divinity School or another seminary. I’d always thought I’d do well as a professor of practical theology because I can blend theory and practice.
11. I’ll never be a district superintendent…not sure I would like the calling but I would have liked to have given it a shot.
12. I’ll never get to go to General Conference.
13. I’ll never see my wife with all white hair…I think mature women with white hair are beautiful, and Danelle would be “the fairest of them all.”
14. I’ll never teach at the Methodist University of Kenya or the Methodist Seminary in Russia.
15. I’ll never get to have a pulpit exchange for a summer with a pastor in England.
16. I’ll never see my stepson graduate from college and start a career or see the woman crazy enough to marry him.
17. There will come a time when I won’t be able to attend any more of Danelle’s shows and see how she gets young people to excel.
18. I’ll never see Danelle act again.
19. I won’t get to see if ACTIVATE becomes a full-time endeavor for Danelle.
20. I’ll never hear my grandchildren call me grandpa or giggle over silly things.
21. I’ll never take my grandchildren to Walt Disney World and watch the wonder on their face.
22. I’ll never meet the diverse children Lydia is going to adopt.
23. I’ll never own a convertible or a soft-top Jeep.
24. I’ll never have a place at the beach.
25. I’ll never get to live in my house in the mountains again or turn the basement into a man-cave and writing studio.
26. I’ll never get to New Zealand and see the sites for Lord of the Rings.
27. I’ll never live in a loft condo in the center of a city.
This I will miss that I have taken for granted:
1. Danelle’s laughter and her tears.
3. Lydia’s empathy and her ability to love unconditionally.
4. Jacob’s goofy sense of humor and bad middle-school jokes.
5. Jordan’s sarcasm.
6. Really good fried chicken and macaroni and cheese.
7. Baptizing children.
8. Doing funerals for saints of God.
10. Sabbath Feasts (big dinner parties with friends)
12. Crisp fall mornings.
14. The sound of the surf
15. Krispy Kreme doughnuts when they are hot!
16. Christmas Eve Candlelit Worship
17. Good praise music turned up loud.
18. Awesome cheeseburgers and hand cut fries.
19. Fish & chips.
20. Medium rare steaks.
21. Fresh bread and butter.
22. Cookie-Dough Blizzards
23. Presiding at Eucharist
24. Weddings for people really in love.
25. Coffee with friends.
26. Really good coffee.
27. Sand under my feet, sun on my face, and the smell of the ocean.
28. The mountains in the spring when the flowers bloom.
29. The laughter of children.
30. Clean sheets.
The lists goes on and on, this is just a random sampling of the things that have come across my mind in the past twenty-four hours. I think it is indicative of my personality though, because it is wildly varied and represents all areas of my life.
I brought home a Post-It Note flip chart to take on vacation so, after meeting with my oncologist next Monday, I can make time related goal lists in six month increments.
I thought I’d end with a list of things I won’t miss:
1. Paying taxes…I mean death and taxes are inevitable but one does free you from the other.
3. Church conflict over stupid stuff.
4. Mean people.
5. War & poverty.
8. Pain & sickness
10. Cancer…seems kind of obvious, but its worth mentioning
12. Entropy and decay
14. Car problems
That’s enough of that! Now I will move on to making a list of what I want to do to make the most of every moment of the life I have left. Won’t you join me in making a list, setting some goals, and checking off that bucket list? Isn’t it time you start living? Let’s do this thing!