The Bucket List-How Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman flipped my perception of servant hood upside down.


I like rain.  It’s kind of cozy. Cleansing. Refreshing.

Yesterday was stinking hot. I had to sit in front of a fan. I couldn’t even go to bed. Too hot.

So I watched a movie on TV. It was The Bucket List. A 2007 drama comedy staring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

Plot -Two guys end up in the same hospital room.

One is rich. He owns the hospital.

The other is an auto mechanic who had a flair for the show Jeopardy.

Of course the rich guy is not pleased. But, what can he do? As owner of the hospital, he has to live by his own business model – two people to a room. No exceptions.

While watching these character;s interact, I had a revelation. It wasn’t about the end of the world or the coming of  the messiah.

It was about serving other people.

Now, I have done my share of serving.

  • Washing dishes.
  • Cleaning rooms.
  • Tending someone else’s children.
  • Driving the elderly from place to place.

Even though I had a smile on my face, sometimes I felt small and insignificant.

Secretly, I was convinced that the people who were most important people were the ones in the limelight. The essential roles were the reserved for those at the top of the heap.

  1. The speaker.
  2. The singer.
  3. The financial backer.
  4. The heads of church boards and committees.

It took The Bucket List to change my point of view. I now realize that all that is vital comes from the bottom up. Not the top, down.

Of course, it can be hard to believe because the top is mostly what we see. 

Don’t be deceived like I was. Sometimes the visual aspect is nothing more than 

  • pecking order eye candy.
  • A high profile position with the life span of a fruit fly.

Especially in the church.

Sometimes I think that the church is like a massive mountain. The view at the peak is nothing less than breathtaking. But, the stability is at the  base.

An oak tree’s strength is not measured by the tiny leaves that flutter against the sky. It is measured by the circumference of the roots that tunnel underground. Roots that few people see. 

And, don’t forget the oceans. It’s not all about the waves.

They cover approximately 65.7%of the earth’s surface.  There is a teeming world of mystery below. 

“Those who go down to the sea in ships,” penned the writer of Psalm 107, “Who do business on great waters;  They have seen the works of the Lord, And His wonders in the deep.”

The wonders in the deep. The strength at the base. The life in the roots.

Jesus wasn’t just feeling sorry for the overworked “nobodies” when He told his disciples, “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant”.

He was setting the record straight. Challenging his disciples’ desperate jockeying for position with eternal truth.

Honor is found in humility. Significance in simplicity. True greatness in serving others.

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