Two years ago I was challenged by a friend to physically write down (pen to paper) my bucket list. Yeah, I had always had an idea of what I dreamt of, places I wanted to go, things that were “must do” items in my brain, but physically writing things out had not yet happened. So on an evening where my dreams captivated my thoughts, I finally decided to write it down… everything. Big or small, literal or figurative each bullet point came to life. Something about writing these aspirations out made them WAY more tangible. They weren’t just little whimsical ideas floating around anymore, they were actual possibilities conveyed on a page in my journal. My list ranged from road tripping across the country, becoming overwhelmingly invested into reading the Bible, backpacking the Oregon trail, and going to Scotland. What I didn’t realize was how far these dreams would take me, and how much of a reality they could/would be.
For me, the bucket list was never a question of whether or not achieving these tasks were possible, rather it was (and is) a question of, “What is the purpose behind each item? Is it self-serving or life-breathing?” After deciding to study abroad over spring break in Scotland I thought what better way to breathe life than teaching students about life? Let’s break this down… the basics of life come from food and water, but here is the tricky part… not many people know how they receive their food.
So let me ask you, “Are you being fed? If so, where is this food coming from?” Think about this with a few different lenses.
- Are you being physically fed? Where is your food coming from? (The grocery store isn’t the answer I’m looking for either.) If you didn’t grow up with an agriculture background you might be thinking about large corporations mass producing food, but let me season your tastebuds a bit. Did you know that 96.4% of crop-producing farms in the U.S. are owned by families (yep, you heard me right). Of those farms they represent a whopping 87% of all agricultural value generated (USDA). This is just one stat of many, I could throw in there about the integrity placed on being a “dirt farmer”. Make sure you know where your food comes from, and don’t just go with the first thing that pops up on Google. Look at all sides, and make an informed decision (not just jumping on bandwagons).
- Next question, are you being spiritually fed? Where is your fuel coming from? Maybe you’re masking the difficulties in your life with busyness. Perhaps you’re on the opposite side of the spectrum, and you’re holding up in your room repeating the same mind-numbing activities to keep you from thinking to deeply into life. At some point you need to ask yourself the question, “Is the life I am living RIGHT NOW really purposeful? Am I feeding my purpose by binging on Netflix or doing the work to which I am called? For that matter, what am I called to do?” Consider your source of fuel.
- Last question, are you being mentally fed? What is challenging you to think? Classes? Business opportunities? Learning how to play an instrument? Whatever it is, find what makes your mind spin, and keep getting after it. The average “young adult” uses their phones five hours a day, that’s about 1/3 of their total hours awake. Think about all that time you could use to do something meaningful.
ONCE we are all fueled up THEN we can start feeding other people. Let me explain, we have all heard the saying “I can give you a fish or I can teach you how to fish.” Ever thought about this? In order to teach someone how to fish you have to know how to fish first! It’s basically saying, “Check yourself, before you wreck yourself.”
Ultimately, we feed others, when we have food to give.
I honestly can’t wait to see this bucket list item come to life. The excitement I have to feed others in these areas and in others not listed is out of this world! Stay tuned….