There was something I read years ago which stuck with me, not because I felt at the time that it really applied to me, but because it was a perspective I had never thought of before. It was about my to-do list versus God’s to-do list. Lately God has reminded me of what I read. It certainly seems applicable to me right now! I am not going to do it justice by any means, and no matter how hard I look through my books I can’t find where it was I read this. The idea is that everyday we wake up and whether we have it written down or not, we all have a “to-do list” of tasks that we hope to accomplish for that day. (Some of us are more list crazy than others…guilty. Sometimes I even find myself writing down things I have already done just so I can cross them off!) I don’t know about you but I often end each day with a number of things on my to-do list that are far from completed, or even started. It can be very frustrating and overwhelming. That is why the perspective of God’s to-do list is helpful for me to think of. God has a to-do list too. The difference is that His list is always accomplished. Maybe some of the things on His list overlap mine, but when they are in disagreement I know that His list trumps mine. The day never ends with things on God’s list left undone.
The things I may see as an inconvenience: a baby that won’t take a nap, an untimely phone call from a friend, an unexpectedly long time spent on the phone on hold, a sick or needy kid, etc. are not unforeseen by God, but rather a part of His plan. If I change my perspective a little bit, maybe I can see those things as opportunities, rather than hindrances. I can take advantage of some rare one-on-one time with Braxton rather than grumbling that I didn’t get some time to myself. I can thank God for the privilege to be used by Him in the life of a friend. I can view the extra time spent on hold as an opportunity to pray. And I can enjoy some cuddle time with my sick big-girl or make up some new crazy dance moves when she needs me to stop all my other roles and just be a Mommy. Maybe this means there are a couple dishes left in the sink, or we are eating fried egg sandwiches for dinner, or a project is left half-way done, but I need to be okay with that. I need to realize that at the end of the day the things on God’s to-do list matter more and those are the things that always get accomplished. I was reminded of this the other day as I sat cheek to cheek with a teething Braxton who woke up early from his nap. The whole house needed to be cleaned, there were cookies that had to be made and I had not yet showered for the day. But God used my sweet boy to grab ahold of my heart, as I sat there with him, listening to him breath, feeling his skin against mine. We were still. The list that was pulsing in my brain faded away and I just was. I wasn’t going. I wasn’t doing. I just was. After all in the years to come I won’t look back on this time in my life and say “Man, I wish our house had been cleaner.” or “I just regret not having spent more time doing crafts or online or watching TV.” I really hope also that with God’s help I don’t look back and say “I really wish I had spent more time on what mattered and less time stressing about the small things.”
I look at the life of Jesus while He was here on earth. He had people clambering for Him everywhere He turned. He knew how to say “no”. He also knew when to stop when He was in the middle of something to help someone in need or make someone feel cared for and listened to. He did not do everything that was on other people’s list for Him, but He did do everything on God’s to-do list. As He hung on the cross dying Jesus was able to say “It is finished”. My prayer is that as I lay in bed at night re-hashing the day in my mind and counting all the things that I did not get done, I will be able to thank God that everything on His to do list got done. I pray that God will give me the peace that comes from that perspective. I also pray that He will give me an ounce of the wisdom that Jesus had to discern what needs to be done and what doesn't.
I really hope this has not come off as preachy. I mean all of this more for myself than anyone else. I have found over the years that I learn the best and gain the most insights about myself through writing. I have just been struck lately, maybe a better word is convicted, about my own priorities and perspectives on life. I so often feel like I am being mediocre at every area in my life, and that there is just not enough time to get everything done, much less to do it all with excellence. I am really enjoying blogging as a way to express myself, escape and get some “me” time. I think it has the potential to be therapeutic and a hobby in and of itself. I just want to use it for the right reasons and not allow myself to get too immersed in it in a way that is not healthy. I don’t know if that makes sense. If you find time in your busy schedule, please pray for me that I prioritize better, manage my time well, and am able to have the God-given perspective of being at peace with accomplishing God’s to-do list for me, rather than stressing over my own.