The role of God in our search for our true vocation, our search for God’s bucket list, is beautifully illustrated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in an apostolic letter initiating a Year of Faith beginning in October 2012. In this letter, titled Porta Fide (“Door of Faith,” from Acts 14:27), he writes that to enter through the door of faith “is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime.”
Perhaps we are cradle Catholics who received the sacraments as children but have done little or nothing with our faith since then except perhaps going to Mass, but we are now trying to get some sense of how God fits into the bigger scheme of things. Or perhaps we are Christians who made a major commitment to Christ years ago but haven’t done much to nurture the relationship or dine with Christ, yet we are still hoping for some direction. Or maybe we have been wandering online or searching through the local bookstore—looking for, as Pope Emeritus Benedict puts it in Porta Fidei, “the ultimate meaning and definitive truth of [our] lives and of the world.”
Benedict further writes in this letter:
We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on
the Word of God, faithfully handed down by the
Church. . . . Indeed, the teaching of Jesus still resounds
in our day with the same power: “Do not
labor for the food which perishes, but for the food
which endures to eternal life” (John 6:27). The question
posed by his listeners is the same that we ask
today: “What must we do, to be doing the works of
God?” (John 6:28). We know Jesus’s reply: “This is
the work of God that you believe in him whom he
has sent” (John 6:29). Belief in Jesus Christ, then, is
the way to arrive definitively at salvation.
As a motivational speaker, I like to leave my audiences with an action plan or take-away practices that can help them stay focused on their relationship with God and where He is leading them. Here are a few ideas for those on the lookout for the Lord’s bucket list. (You’ll also find more details on how to apply these activities to your daily life in our resource list in the back of this book.
• Daily prayer
• Scripture reading
• Self reflection (jotting down dreams, goals, and what makes you feel most peaceful and productive, then taking this list to prayer)
• Input from a mentor or a spiritual director
And last but not least on this bucket list would be a pat on the back—being encouraged by the mere fact that you’re on your way. Maybe you don’t quite know where that way is leading, but that’s okay too.
Excerpted from God’s Bucket List by Teresa Tomeo. Copyright © 2013 by Teresa Tomeo. Excerpted by permission of Image Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.