Thursday, August 7, 2008

"To Do" Lists

So, I'm a very big 'to do' list person. I love making lists. Not that I ever get everything done on them, but I like to have them. Why? Because I can be forgetful...I'm not sure if it's a memory thing or if it's just that my mind runs 100mph, so the chances of me remembering everything that I want to remember are very slim. Lists relieve me of the worry that I'll forget to get something done, call/email someone, get a chore done or forget to buy something at Target- this happens probably the most- I have ONE thing that I need at Target, so I go, walk out of the store with TEN things, not one of which is the thing I purposely went to Target for in the first place. I love love love being able to cross things off of my list and it's even better when the entire list is done and I can throw the post-it just gives me such a sense of accomplishment! So, it wasn't surprising, yesterday, when I was going through my folder at work and ran across an old post-it note with a 'to do' list on it. This was the list:

* Buy stuff to make cookies
* Mail birthday gift
* Mow lawn
* Spend time with God
* Call for haircut appt
* Clean bathroom

...what was that fourth 'to do'???? Yes, that's right- "spend time with God". Right in between mowing my backyard lawn and calling to make a haircut appointment, there God was. I actually did a double take when I first read the list... I mean, I didn't actually put God on a check off list, did I? Not only that, but He wasn't even the priority, the first thing on my list... He was fourth on the list! I let out a laugh and really had to wonder what God thought of all of that. Did He appreciate being put on a list? Or, how about the fact that "Spend time with God" wasn't even crossed off of the list, meaning it probably didn't happen. I have to say that the old list really has convicted me these past couple of days. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I put God last. I used to always think that, 'oh, I've got SO much to do, there's no way that I can sit down now and read the Bible... I'll be too distracted. I'll just get everything done and then I can be focused and present before God. But, what happens time and time again??? Yes, I get all of my work done, I sit down to read and within 5 minutes I'm asleep because I've exhausted myself. And, honestly, I know better. I can't even tell you how many times I've chosen to stop what I'm doing in the morning, read a little out of the Bible, prayed and my day goes SO much more smoothly. I feel a sense of peace and happiness and I'm in a better mood (which is beneficial to everyone :-) and I've noticed that on those really busy Saturday mornings when I have 10 errands to run, all before noon, if I stop and talk to God first, it seems like I'm able to get everything done and even afterwards, I don't see how I was able to get to where I needed to go so quickly, or how easily I found the product I was needing to buy or how short the lines were in the grocery store. It happens every single time.

It's kind of like when you hear couples talking about having a baby. You always hear them say, 'now's just not a good time...we're going to wait until things are more settled'. And, I think that we all think the same thing when we hear that- there's never going to be a perfect time! You'll never be 100% financially or emotionally prepared for parenthood- you do it despite any perceived obstacles. We have to be that same way with God. There will never be the perfect time to sit and think, reflect, pray, read or whatever you do in your quiet time. In all honesty, we have someone who wants to make sure that never happens. Pay attention next time you sit down or are getting ready to go and pray/read. I notice that my phone has never ringed so much, I notice a smudge on the carpet that needs to be cleaned up, I'll drop and break something... be prepared for distractions, but also be prepared for the blessings and insight and peace that will come if you push those distractions aside and focus on spending time with the most important One of all.