Have you created a bucket list? I’ve considered it.
Instead, I recorded what I’ve done and would rather not repeat:
- Buy stupid shoes. At 20, I wore platforms with heels so high they gave me altitude sickness. Repentant, I then purchased “healthy” earth shoes — hideous footwear with nonexistent heels and built-up soles that tilted me backward. Either way, I risked possible surgery.
- Attend the Indianapolis 500. Amazing, but the cars’ incredible speed and incessant roar made me crave 30 quiet seconds inside a refrigerator, away from sizzling heat.
- Tour France without knowing the language. My French, limited to “bonjour” and “french fries,” invoked eye rolls, especially on Petite Street, where shops sold clothes that fit only Tinkerbell.
Other remembrances make me shiver. I never again want to:
- Camp next to someone a sheriff greeted by name.
- Read Ku Klux Klan recruitment posters.
- Lodge in a Honduran hotel room with broken locks.
- Accept rides with strangers.
Nor will I:
- Endure red and orange shag carpet.
- Allow a closet-sized kitchen whose fridge froze lettuce and melted ice cream.
- Sample saki. It tasted like turpentine.
Finally, I won’t challenge anyone to a doughnut-eating contest. Ronnie, a street kid who attended my Bible club, claimed he could outeat anyone. I devoured twice as many. Humbled, Ronnie went home, sick. Humbled, I realized the Bible didn’t recommend this form of evangelism. I called Ronnie’s mother to apologize.
Silence. Then laughter. “Glad you called his bluff.”
Still, I couldn’t look a doughnut or bathroom scales in the face. God, either, but soon I realized He’d forgiven me and had taught Ronnie and me to engage brains before mouths.
God isn’t limited by clueless mistakes. Amazingly, the kid still attended Bible Club. Decades later, I pray doughnut disaster memories have faded. That Ronnie clearly recalls Jesus loves him.
In reviewing my once-but-never-again list, I realize God’s protected me big-time. I never fell off my shoes. I haven’t been abducted, joined the Ku Klux Klan, or worn French Tinkerbell clothes.
I now can look doughnuts in the face.
Scales? Still working on that.
And God’s bucket list for me.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s on your once-but-never-again list?