By John Grant
â€œHe picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.â€?
2 Kings 2:13-16
â€œThe Bucket List,â€? opened at theaters across the country this past week. Itâ€™s a movie about two older men who are diagnosed with a terminal illness and decide before they â€œkick the bucket,â€? to do all the things they ever wanted to do before departing planet earth. According to The Associated Press, the â€œkick off box office takeâ€? was just under twenty million dollars and moved it to the number one spot at weekend box offices.
A life-threatening illness, even with a good long term prognosis, can cause people to focus on the future in a different perspective, but they are not likely to escape from the hospital and go on a juvenile joy ride. The point of the movie is that when faced with eminent death these two characters, played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, look inward to themselves to satisfy all of their personal desires and to have the personal experiences they always wanted to have, before it is too late. It is all about them.
Contrast that with the last day of Elijah found in 2 Kings 2. When both Elijah and Elisha knew that it would be Elijahâ€™s last day on earth, they made the most of it to create a legacy, to pass the mantle of leadership for the sake of those left behind. They took a tour and the elder showed the younger the ropes, so to speak. They focused not on worldly pleasure, but rather on a Godly legacy.
At the end of the day. Elijah was taken up and Elisha carried on and when he parted the water, the prophets said â€œThe spirit of Elijah is resting on Elijah.â€?
The movie actually ends on a spiritual note. After skydiving, racing, traveling and a host of other things, both characters come home and their lives and relationships are significantly changed for the good, as they focus on what really matters in life. I walked out with tears in my eyes and a warm feeling in my heart. I resolved to re-think my â€œbucket listâ€? to make sure my priorities are correct.
What is your â€œbucket list?â€? After all, we are all terminal. Before you depart, is it your goal to have all the fun you can, or to leave a Godly heritage and a spiritual legacy in your family, your community and your church? Who, or what, matters most to you in life? What has God called you to do in the limited amount of time you have to do it?Â Maybe it is time to re-think your â€œbucket list.â€?
(a thought on life from John Grant)
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney. He is an active writer and frequent speaker.Â He can be reached by e-mail at John.Grant@johngrant.net