Life Lists


When I was in college one of my roommate besties shared some personal information. It was her list of “Things I want to do before I die.” I was intrigued. I don’t remember much of what was on her list now, other than one item, “Hold a real monkey.” But it doesn’t matter that I don’t recall, what counts is it inspired me to write mine.

It has been fun to watch my list tweaked and evolve. For example, one of my early entries was “Get a computer.” As in, few people had computers at the time and this was a big deal. I have since checked that off my list, and after having owned numerous computers in my life, it is funny that it was even an item.

I have also realized that some things may never happen. Item number 24 for example, “Hit a legitimate home run,” will most likely never be realized. You have to swing the bat to hit the ball, and since I no longer play softball (hit in the head too many times by softballs taking a bad bounce has caused me to retreat) it does make it tough. I have let that item go.

And two years ago after reading Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker, my list took a major revision. He dedicates Chapter 15 of his book to “Life Goal List”. He revised the phrase coined in Jim Collins and Jerry Porras’ book, Built to Last, from BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) to Big Hairy Audacious Prayers (BHAPs). Batterson suggests that prayers naturally turn into goals, and goals naturally turn into prayers. As a result of reading this chapter, I began to think about my motivation behind my goals. “…if they [goals] don’t glorify God, then they aren’t worth setting in the first place. So start with prayer.” Good advice.

“God, what do you want on my list?”

And, after reading John 15: 16-17, I wonder, if it wasn’t God’s list to begin with.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.”

The fruit we hope our lives might bear may just be the appointments God has given us. Looking at our life lists from this perspective surely should motivate our Big Hairy Audacious Prayers!

I may not find an arrowhead today, item number 54 on my list. But for today, I am going to revisit my to do’s in light of His light. May his light shine in our hearts and actions. (2 Corinthians 4:5-6)

Shelli Muldoon


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