For many they have a “bucket list.” It’s typically a list of things they want to do before they die. It can be things like jump out of an airplane, give away x amount of money, canoe the Amazon or other crazy things like that. It’s a dream list of things you want to do before you get old and die.
But as Loren Cunningham so aptly says, “I don’t have a bucket list, I have a mountain list.” It comes from the life of Caleb, one of the good spies that spoke hope about taking the land (Num 13). As the inheritance was being divided up, he went to Joshua with a special request:
“As you see, the LORD has kept me alive these 45 years as He promised, since the LORD spoke this word to Moses while Israel was journeying in the wilderness. Here I am today, 85 years old. I am still as strong today as i was the day Moses sent me out. My strength for battle for daily tasks is now as it was then. Now give me this hill country the LORD promised me on that day, because you heard then that the Anakim are there, as well as large fortified cities. Perhaps the LORD will be with me and I will drive them out as the LORD promised” (Jos 14:10-12).
This really is quite an incredible statement! The Anakim were giants. These were the very giants that inspired fear among the Israelites so that they did not take the land 40 years previous. Instead they wandered around the desert until that generation had died.
But here was Caleb, 85 years old, saying to Joshua, give me the land that has the biggest, baddest and scariest people in the land. “Perhaps the LORD will be with me and I will drive them out as the LORD promised (Jos 14:12). Even at 85 he still had great faith to believe that the LORD would help him drive out the people.
That’s what Loren means when he says he doesn’t have a bucket list. But rather a mountain list. The mountain list is a list of things in the LORD that still need accomplished. The hard things, the impossible things, the things others have lost hope for. “Give me that mountain!” is the cry of the heart and the actions of one’s life.
It’s not that bucket lists are bad. They are good as the LORD seeks to bless us and fulfill our hearts desires. But the problem is that it can become the focus instead of still doing great things for the Lord, even when you’re old. Not retiring, but re-firing up the heart with faith.