It’s March 5, 2020, and I just read Sister Dianne Maddox’s blog titled “Redeem the Time.” As I read her blog, I began to take inventory of my own life and if I’m making the most of it.
We all have bucket lists, whether we want to admit it or not — traveling, achieving a goal, learning a specific skill, etc.
Recently, I lost a very dear friend of mine, which has impacted my goals. She was just a year older than me, always healthy, busy in the background working for our branch, and a major support to her family. One evening, she ended up in the ER, and three weeks later to the day, entered Paradise.
That was a wakeup call for me. Suddenly those things on my bucket list are not so important. Oh, I still want to take that Alaskan cruise, but I’m now realizing my mortality.
When my father died at the age of 61, he said to me in one of our last conversations, “I just wish I had done more for the Lord.” This statement totally blew my mind! Brother Joe Milantoni, my father, was an evangelist in every sense of the word. I saw him travel to Muncey almost every weekend for over 15 years. He served the church in the GMBA for over 10 years. He uprooted our family twice to live in the mission field. He initiated the work of the Detroit Inner City Mission where he was always very active.
My mother has a stack of journals that Dad wrote in every day. I see entries like, “visited so-and-so today,” “counseled with this one,” “stopped by to assist that one,” “the Spirit of God was very prevalent in our meeting today.” These types of entries filled his journal.
I’m thinking of what my own journal pages would say. No, I don’t keep a journal, but I’m mentally going back in my life, regretting the entries like “went shopping online,” “had a great evening doing nothing but watching TV,” “didn’t feel like going to church today.”
My favorite scripture is Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” After reading Sister Dianne’s blog, I find myself questioning this verse. I’ve always interpreted it as me waiting on the Lord for things that He has in store for me. What about Him? Is He waiting on me to do what the scriptures instruct me on how to live my life to the fullest for Him? Does my bucket list also include visiting the sick, reaching out to those who are discouraged or lost, seeing to the needs of the widows, sharing my faith with others?
I guess I have a lot of work to do! I need to revise that bucket list and make sure the Lord isn’t waiting on me. I need to redeem the time.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.