40 before 40

A little while ago, Jon Acuff posted a 40 before 40 list on Stuff Christians Like; my friend Jenni told me about it and we both created lists of things we’d like to do before we turn 40. I just turned 30, so I have 10 years to accomplish the things on this list. Some of these things I know I’ll be able to do soon, but others will take a while (buy a house and write a book, for example).

I decided not to put goals about spiritual growth on this list because it is difficult to quantify and measure “know and love the Lord more every year” and sometimes God has different lessons for me to learn than I planned. Actually, I realize that all of these dreams and goals need to be held loosely, because God is in control of my life and His plans for me often differ from my plans for myself. I believe it is good to make plans and to dream of the things I could do for the Lord, the church, and others, but I also have to be submitted to God’s will and not view the things on this list as the markers of what makes life complete and satisfying. With that caveat, here’s my list!

  1. Write a non-fiction book
  2. Write a book of poetry
  3. Write a hymn
  4. Read through my list of “books I should read” (coming soon to a blog near you)
  5. Get another master’s degree or a Ph.d.
  6. Get out of debt and stay out of debt (with the exception of a mortgage—see below)
  7. Buy my own place to live
  8. Volunteer at a shelter for women and children or a rescue mission
  9. Visit missionary friends and work in an orphanage in Africa
  10. Support an orphan
  11. Support a missionary
  12. Become a mentor and/or foster parent
  13. Learn how to play the guitar
  14. Learn to speak a language fluently
  15. Run a 1/2 marathon
  16. Run a 5k in less than 28 minutes
  17. Run a marathon
  18. Visit the empty tomb, the Temple Mount, and see the Dead Sea Scrolls
  19. Visit Petra and Amman, Jordan
  20. Ride the Eurail across Europe (a 21 day pass is $900–anyone want to donate?)
  21. Visit my friend Jodi when she’s a missionary in Spain
  22. Visit Andorra (with Jodi) and Luxembourg
  23. Climb one of the Swiss Alps
  24. Visit the Sistine Chapel and ride a gondola in Venice
  25. Visit England with a literary-minded friend and visit Stratford-Upon-Avon, the Globe Theater (and see a play), the Brontes’ home, Oxford, Cambridge, and  a host of other sites
  26. See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre
  27. Drive on the autobahn
  28. Walk on the Great Wall of China
  29. Go on a safari in Africa
  30. Run across the Golden Gate Bridge and run up a hill in San Francisco
  31. Hike a 10,000+ foot mountain near Lake Tahoe (if I visit in the summer) or ski at a resort there (if I visit in the winter)
  32. Take my mom to Colonial Williamsburg
  33. Visit the Grand Canyon
  34. Go on an Alaskan cruise
  35. See a Broadway musical
  36. See an opera at the Met (preferably one by Puccini)
  37. See Placido Domingo perform live (I hope he doesn’t completely retire before I get a chance to hear him!)
  38. See Evgeny Kissin perform live
  39. Skate in Rockefeller Park at Christmas time
  40. Learn how to use the manual settings on a nice camera (should do this before all the traveling)

What are some things you’d like to accomplish before hitting the next mile-marker age?