My To-Do List
I’m looking at my weekly to-do list. There are 37 items in a column which have a “deadline” that needs to be met by the end of the week. I have it broken down into categories, including one that reads HOT! HOT! HOT!
That’s code for STOP PROCRASTINATING.
Crossing off items on my to-do list may be a simple action, but it is super thrilling for me. I get a kick out of getting stuff done. I like checking the box. If I’m honest, I like controlling my day. I feel a swell of pride when things go smoothly and efficiently. Props to me if I finish early, too. That often ends in some sort of reward which involves Oreos or seasonal-themed Reece’s.
Notice that I just used the words “controlling” and “pride” when describing the logistics of my day-to-day life. Should I find that alarming?
Of course there’s nothing wrong with living an organized life. There’s nothing wrong with making lists, either. But I have to be careful that my list doesn’t dictate.
Full disclosure: My list dictates.
I write a Bachelor and Big Bang Theory recap every week. I make plans to fellowship with friends. I attend church. I read books for a living. I teach Wednesday night Bible study. I volunteer to serve others. I pray. I speak.
Check, check, check.
Yesterday, I had a conversation with two different people who asked me how I tackle my to-do list without compromising those unique times when life intervenes.
Am I checking off the items on my list because they are items on a list and I’m anxious to cross off the next line to feel a sense of accomplishment? Working hurriedly to meet a deadline is one thing. Participating in the process is quite another.
How many times have I been distracted thinking about statistics and positive comments when writing my recaps? Do I hang around in the church foyer because I want to be seen? Am I actually enjoying spending time in the books I read or counting down the minutes until I turn in the review? Is my Bible study just a part of a list? Do I serve because it simply feels like the right thing to do? Is my heart in any of this?
I fully believe the Lord was hinting for me to slow down and dig deeper.
Instead of worrying if people think I’m a total dork, I’m going to pour everything I have into that episode’s recap. Instead of attending church, I’m going to engage in the body. Instead of reading my Bible, I’m going to study it. Instead of showing up to serve, I’m going to show up and be intentional. Instead of saying I’m going to pray, I’m actually going to pray.
It’s a new day. His mercies are new every morning. What better way to celebrate slowing down and digging deeper this new year than to take the focus off of ourselves and choose to really see those around us? Let’s engage one another with genuine smiles. Let’s study facial expressions after a much needed compliment is offered. Let’s be intentional with the ones who may feel invisible. Let’s hand out Valentine’s Day heart-shaped Reece’s in January.
I’m going to stop checking life off of a to-do list. Instead, I’m going to try and live life up close and personal. Who’s with me?