My dream list from 2005

Cold and dark outside, I warmed myself beneath an old quilt inside. It was the the peak of the winter months and I was living in the basement of my mom’s condominium. Burnout from years of living on a tour bus, I had just stepped down from my position at Josh McDowell Ministries. Although exhausted from years of giving everything I had to a ministry I loved, I was optimistic that my best years were still off in the distance. The wind blew hard along the back wall of the condo as I pulled out my journal. Energized by the thought of the future I began to pen a list.

I found this list a few weeks ago in an old file folder. I am astonished and amazed at what God has done with this list. I have read the likes of Mark Batterson & Michael Hyatt about setting goals, but I never thought about the list I wrote in 2005. If you have 10 or 15 minutes feel free to scroll through this list and learn more about me. The goal/dream list I wrote in 2005 is random and fun, serious and poignant, lofty and noble. Now more than seven years later I re-type the list to remind myself of what God has done in my life over the last few years. Crossed out items on the list are things that have been accomplished in the last seven years. Here is my exact journal entry:

Hello! My name is Benji . . . 6 days ago I stepped down as Road Manager for Josh McDowell. The time was right, but I have no idea what I want to do. But I have a thousand ideas of what I want to do. So I thought what better to do than write a list? Not just any list, but a list of jobs I want to do, things I want to try, places I want to visit, obstacles I want to concur, mountains I want to hike, people I want to see, people I want to help and burdens I want to release.  The list may never stop, the challenges may cost too much, the ideas may be selfish and the intentions may not be pure; but in the end this is my list . . .

I think the key is going to be how do I get started and how to bring the most glory to God in the process . . .

My name is Benji and this is my dream list . . .

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Bike from Washington to Maine
Hike the Appalachian Trail
Climb Mt. Arat looking for Noah’s Ark
Be a NT Bible Professor
Learn to rock climb
Concur my fear of heights
Break my leg
Kayak Acadia with my father
Finish the Ouchita Trail
Visit the Sudan
Build a church in Mongolia
Get married to a gorgeous woman who loves the Lord
Visit Greece
Whitewater raft in New Zealand
Write and publish a book
Change the World
Adopt and African Child
Surf in Hawaii
See Floby again
Hike the PCT
Spend time with Luke Wiest
Backflip on my snowboard
Hike anywhere in Alaska
Survive a bear attack
See Jon & Melissa Rogers
Surf in Fiji
Take my mom on a cruise to Alaska
Visit the Dickens in Canada
Spend time serving in Zambia
Be on the Amazing Race
Be in an eco-challenge
Survive an Avalanche
Run a marathon again
Climb the 7 summits
Surf Australia
Learn how to ride a rail on my snowboard
Work for an NBA franchise
Climb the Grand Teton
Make my own snowboarding video
Lead short term mission trips
Facilitate events for a church
Run Badwater
Snowboard in China
Climb to 8000 meter peaks
Learn how to dance
Sit front row at a U2 concert
Wear a suit & tie and like it
See Nathan Bills again
Float the Nile river
Re-read the Bible in one setting
Climb the 14,000 peaks of the U.S.
Snowboard on Mt. Hood in the summer
Learn how to ice climb
Work on a fishing boat
Know God’s word in my heart
Mentor young couples when I am married
Learn how to skimboard
Stay in a castle
Go to Scotland
Trek across Thailand
Play in a men’s soccer league
Lose my pride
Buy my mom her own place
Bury my grandparents soon
Design wilderness equipment
Write magazine articles
Visit Seren in Liberia
Spend time with Tim & Lisa Patterson
Travel with a band
Speak at conferences
Help my brother become one of the premier resources for churches in the world
Be a dad.
Snowboard with Mase
Spend time with Leah Zimmerman
Visit Cambodia
Walk the great wall of China
Run with the bulls in Pamplona
Go canyoneering again
Take pictures
See Travis and Sami again
Hang out with Schmidt
Surf in Costa Rica
Camel across North Africa
Live with a Muslim family
Spend time with Zach Szmara
Climb Mt. Rainer
 Swim with dolphins
Spend more time praising and less time criticizing
Smile more
Make a clay pot
Spend time with Jess Manglos
Sell my DVD collection
Drive a Land Rover
Buy stock of some kind
Eat at In & Out Burger
Snowboard at Silverton
Go to Cedar Point
Inspire change
Get arrested for sharing my faith
Mail Christmas Cards
Have abs
Bungee jump
Tell Reed about Jesus
Spend a week fasting
Walk in the woods for 40 days
Go to a DMB concert
Pay off IWU
Hike Long’s Peak in the winter
Live with bush people in PNG
Visit the Yukon
Eat at Ruth Chris Steakhouse
Have season tickets at a Professional Arena
Hike the Continental Divide Trail
Snowboard Whistler
Interview a bunch of pastors and write a book about it
Surf Tahiti
Work at REI
Be in a movie
Learn how to whitewater kayak
Visit Patagonia
Be a Park Ranger
Hike/Snowshoe Yellowstone
Learn how to mountain bike
Play golf in the British Open
Kite surf OBX
Hike in the Sawtooth in Idaho
Summit Everest
Be a solider
Flip on a wakeboard
Own a PSP
Wear a North Face jacket on a mountain that requires it
Host a radio program
Watch the Olympics in person
Snowboard in the X games
Drop out of a helicopter on a snowboard
Live out West
Surf Huntington Beach
Snowboard in BC
Have my own figurine
Speak to an audience of 100,000
Visit Paris
Visit Germany
Snowboard in Switzerland
Eat bear meat
Hunt an Elk
See a cheetah in the wild
Visit at monastery in Nepal
Publish a commentary
Get my doctorate
Not speak for 40 days
Eat shrimp
Bike the Blue Ridge Parkway
Witness to a Muslim
Learn more about Mormons
Base jump
Trek to the North Pole
Unite the Church
Get a concussion
Play Rec League basketball
Go to the Final Four
Visit St. Petersburg Russia
See Virginia in Ethopia
Whale watch
Spend time with Greg Miller
Sell the Kia
Share the joy of Jesus
Save someone’s life
Survive a natural disaster
Be used to bless others
Lose myself in the music
Visit Brazil
Serve at soup kitchen
Run a hotel
Be a counselor
Learn how to be a better friend
Go to Pompeii
Suffer for the sake of the gospel
Help mom & Mrs. Mase get to the Grand Cayman again
Go to Europe with Mark Lepech
Help the people of the Congo
Not be allergic to fruit
Be able to reverse dunk
Ride the Amtrak across America
Plant a tree
Plant a forest
Smoke jump
Build my own home
Kayak the snake river
Camp on the beach at Big Sur
Be a big brother
Be a small group leader
Snowboard Big Sky
Visit Chile
Go on a mission trip with Mike & Amanda Braisted
Be someone’s godparent
Drive a tour bus
Be used to change a city
Paint a picture
Build a fire
Learn how to cook stir-fry
Break my collarbone
Meet Rob Bell
Spend more time with Brad
Learn how to be a better golfer
Have a snowball fight
Have month long honeymoon
Fight evil and injustice
Hold a koala bear
Find out what Kentosh is doing
Play ball with Scott Moore
Deep sea fish in Mexico
Never settle for less than the best God has to offer
Send more flowers
Rid the half pipe
Spend more time with Dave & Sherri
Stop hurting people
Land a method grab off a jump
Work at Christian Bookstore
Be an adventure guide
Go snowshoeing
Buy mom a convertible car
Make God more famous
Risk more
Go to Finland
Show others the grace of God
Help heal Africa
Pay for someone to go to college
Never stop giving
Learn Zulu


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