Standup Bucket List

Tonight I will check an item off of my bucket list. I will try my hand at standup comedy. I don’t know if I’ll be funny or not. I know I am funny looking, but I am not sure that really counts for much. I have always tried to be humorous in this column, and in my sermons. I often fail miserably in that pursuit, yet I keep trying.

I have always had goals. When I was a kid, I just knew I was going to play professional football or baseball, or maybe both. A blown knee ended those dreams.

In high school I decided to become an actor. I have done a few things since then, but nothing compares to playing King Lear my senior year of high school. I will never be in a movie or on Broadway.

I have looked down into the mouth of an active volcano in Nicaragua, a feat I never even dreamed of! I have owned some pretty cool cars in my life. I had no idea that my first car, a 65 Rambler Classic, would eventually give way to a series of Cougars, Mustangs, and other amazing, and not so amazing cars.

My bucket list isn’t really all that extensive. I don’t want to be an astronaut, and I know I can’t play professional football. Those were dreams of my childhood. As an adult, though, I can still do a chapel for a professional football or baseball team, so if you have connections, hook a brother up!

In my thirties I dreamt of pastoring a large, multi-staff church. Now, as I near 60, I wonder what the heck I was thinking that made me want to do that. My goal now is just to be the best pastor I can be to Remnant. No large staff, no paycheck, just great ministry.

It’s funny how your priorities and ideas change as you mature. It’s the same way with becoming a Christian. The things that preoccupied me before I decided to follow Jesus now seem so trivial, and some of them were just plain damaging to me, and to others. I have changed my focus, changed my priorities, and with God’s help, changed my life.

Arthur Wallis, in his book, “The Radical Christian” says that accepting Christ takes an axe to the root of our lives. The things that used to be vital no longer matter, and the things that we never cared about become vital.

When you accept Christ, your desires change. You want to be a better spouse, parent, or person. Your work habits get better, your habits change, friends and family notice something different. Not odd, just better.

I love Ephesians 4:21-24, “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Can you imagine that? You were created to be holy, to put away your old life that caused so much pain and emptiness. You were meant to be so much more, to do so much more than just survive. You were called to be something special, and the key to finding out what that is, is accepting Christ.

So tonight I when I take the stage, I can cross one more thing off my list. I hope I’m funny, but if I’m not, I can still rest easy knowing that my sins are forgiven, and my future in heaven is assured. I can live with that.

Practicing my jokes… Jerry

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