A Bucket of Wisdom

bucket_list“You know, the ancient Egyptians had a beautiful belief about death. When their souls got to the entrance to heaven, the guards asked two questions. Their answers determined whether they were able to enter or not. ‘Have you found joy in your life?’ ‘Has your life brought joy to others?'” –Carter, from The Bucket List

by Gary

Wednesday nights are date nights at our house. I love it. Wednesdays are so busy with office things, teen things and class things. I often leave the house at 8:00 a.m. to drop Collin off at school and don’t return home until 8:30 p.m. after teen class. I really try not to have days like this, so don’t think I’m a bad father and husband. But Wednesdays just seem to pile up with counseling, meetings, lunches and class. So having a date night planned with Michelle to watch a movie is a glorious thing to look forward to.

Tonight we watched The Bucket List, which was graciously loaned to us by Miss Lindsay Slone. It came out almost two years ago but we hadn’t seen it yet. I love Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman so I was excited to see it. I wasn’t disappointed. It was well acted and pretty well written. I was lured into thinking deeply a couple of times and laughed out loud a few other times. But my favorite quote was at the very beginning as Morgan Freeman does a voice over while we see the mountains that will become so important to the movie. He’s speaking posthumously about his friend’s death and how we measure success in life when he says this:

“I believe that you measure yourself by the people that measure themselves by you.”

I like this. It silenced me for a few minutes.

In our Wednesday night class right now, we’re doing a series we’ve titled ‘Lists to Live By’ and we’ve been trying to come to an agreement on the most important questions to ask ourselves. We’re currently in a discussion of how to measure true success. The teens have had some very insightful ideas and discussions. And I believe this quote adds to that discussion and is a great question for all of us to ask ourselves. “Have we had enough of an impact to cause people to measure themselves by our example?” If not, shouldn’t we have?

Let that role around in your head for a while.

Reel Wisdom

Reel Wisdom

As a little bonus item to share, I ran across an interesting website while looking up this quote. It’s called Reel Wisdom and looks to have a database of inspirational quotes from movies. I haven’t explored it much myself yet but plan to. Give it a look and see if it’s useful to you. Let me know what you think of it.



Filed under Movies, New Thoughts

6 responses to “A Bucket of Wisdom

  1. Kim

    This is on my list of movies to see. With two little ones I don’t do much movie watching. 🙂

    My sister in law said that I would totally dig this movie. I’ll have to move it up my queue at NetFlix.

  2. But isn’t there something dangerous in defining yourself by others’ opinion of you? We might get a little too concerned about the approval of people and lose sight of the approval of God.

  3. cool post, i enjoyed that film


  4. Yes, I think it could very much be dangerous if you let the opinions of others define you. But I’m not suggesting you let it define you. I’m suggesting you let God’s call to be held in high esteem and opinion by others define you.

    I take my focus from what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians chapter 3 when he’s writes about pressing towards the Goal and setting an example for others to follow while we do it.

    “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. ”

    You can read it in context here:

    If we’re not intentional in setting a strong enough example that it can be a beacon to others, then we’ve missed God’s calling. Because of this, to me, it’s logical to take stock by seeing who is measuring themselves by my example. Their measure doesn’t define me; God’s call does. But their measure becomes a measure of how I’m doing at defining myself by the higher standard. And then I think it also becomes my calling to point them on to measure themselves by the love and calling of God. Our example is just a means to reflect His nature until they can look more fully at him.

    Just my humble take on it all.

  5. You know, you still have my copy of Dogma…

  6. Ben! Yes, I do still have your copy of Dogma. I know exactly where it is.

    It’s been trying to burn a hole in a shelf of my bookcase at the office for a couple of years.

    I’ll bring it when I come up for lunch soon!

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