I just found my List of Things I'd Like to Do Before I Die. I think I wrote this in 2008. That seems like it was much longer ago than it actually was...
1. TP a house [√]
2. Learn to play a bizarre instrument [√] (if you count ocarina)
3. Publish a book [ ]
4. Learn to dance [ ] (I can dance if I have an extremely talented, patient partner...)
5. Learn Russian [ ] (As of yet, nyet)
6. Go to Scotland [ ]
7. Ride to California [ ] (And because I no longer have a motorcycle, I'm not sure if this one will ever happen)
It's amazing how many things have happened in my life that have something to do with this list. I taught myself to play the ocarina long after I'd lost this list (and then I promptly stopped practicing and forgot most of what I'd learned).
I decided during college that writing really isn't what I want to do, and yet lately my thoughts have been turning that direction more and more.
I went English Country Dancing with some friends, and absolutely loved it! I waltzed and discussed English literature with a complete stranger. If you would have told me that was going to happen when I wrote this list, I would've thought you were crazy.
I now have access to Rosetta Stone's Russian program, and have gone through a few of the lessons. As with the ocarina, I have a hard time being disciplined enough to teach myself anything.
My interest in Scotland has, frankly, waned. Although I still love Scottish accents.
And my desire to return to California (especially on a motorcycle) has increased dramatically.
This moment of reflection has made me all the more thankful for my Sovereign Lord. Around the time I graduated, my lifetime achievement list began with TP-ing a house. Seriously? I was wanting to get married when I wrote this list. Granted, most of the list is pretty normal, and I would still really like to do them, but I marvel at what a different person I have become. Maybe it's not obvious to those around me, but life is a much more serious, beautiful thing now. Part of it is maturity, and all of it is God's grace.
I didn't know that my view of life would change so dramatically in just a few years when I wrote this list. But God did. He's orchestrated it all, every second! He knew what I would like and dislike at this time. He knew what would change, and what would stay the same. He has used every person, every moment, every atom to continually build my life toward its great purpose: His glory. God is the most eco-friendly Being that has ever existed, because He doesn't waste ANYTHING! Not even a millisecond can slip by that He has not used to its fullest potential. No success, no failure, no mountain, no eyelash, no drop of water, no speck of dust floating in space, no bit of calcium clinging to a stalactite in an undiscovered cave, no ant exoskeleton, no snap of static electricity, no tree falling in a forest where no one can hear it, no oil leak, no birth, no death, no injury, no sickness, no medical advancement, no medical blunder, no argument, no affection, no kernel of corn grown by Monsanto, NOTHING has existed, happened, or been felt that has not been exactly the right thing to create some sort of huge, intricate, most God-glorifying piece of art possible. My brain aches trying to imagine it! And one day, when this world has ended and we can step back and see this great masterpiece the way it is best seen... oh how will we not explode into a thousand God-praising pieces? I get teary-eyed just thinking about it.
Imagine, just try to imagine a goodness so great that it has taken the worst corruption our sin has created-cancer, aids, pornography, etc.-and turned it into something beautiful and pure! Praise to our incomprehensibly glorious God!
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18 (emphasis added)