RETHINKING YOUR TO-DO LIST
“To-Do” lists. We jot them down on post-it notes, note cards, napkins, scrap paper, on our smart phones, in our minds, and even on our hands. Most of us are wired this way. We need some semblance of order in our lives as much as we need to feel the effects of accomplishment. So we create lists—things we need to do, places we need to go, people we need to talk to or email, items we need to purchase, etc. When those items on our “to-do” list get crossed off, we feel a much needed sense of accomplishment. For many of us, if it doesn’t get on the list, it doesn’t get done. All too often the “need-to-do” item gets filed away in our brain, in that “lost-and-only-sometimes-found” box.
Lists—our attempt to be organized, our attempt to achieve, our attempt to complete.
I’m not knocking the “to-do” lists at all. As a matter of fact, I’m quite a list gal. I operate best when I have the visual list in front of me. And yes, it sure feels great as I see the items on my “to-do” list get checked off one-by-one.
But have you ever thought about creating a “to-BE” list? Yeah, you heard me right—a “to-BE” list. I was challenged with that thought a while back. A friend and I got together to discuss what exactly is on our spiritual “to-BE” lists. You see, all too often we are consumed with what needs to be done, hence the “to-do” lists. We do, do, and do some more until we’re blue in the face. We teach Sunday school, join the PTA, serve at the local soup kitchen, tithe our 10%, sing in the choir, coach little league, or volunteer at the homeless shelter. But in the grand scheme of things, which is more important: what you do or who you are? This is a tough question, isn’t it? The easy answer of course is who we are is more important than what we do. However, we can’t get wrapped up in the “to-BE” list and totally neglect the “to-DO” list.
Here’s my challenge for you: Take some time this week to generate a spiritual “to-BE” list. Who do you want to become? What kind of person do you want to be? Who does God want you to become? What kind of characteristics does He want you to work on and adopt for yourself?
Once your list is created, ask yourself how willing you are to work on accomplishing those things. (Granted, most of what’s on your “to-BE” list are things that will be life-long endeavors for you.) In order to complete your “to-BE” list, what things do you need to pray about, surrender, be held accountable for, let go of, share with someone, admit, dig up, or drastically change?
Here’s the thing…I tend to believe that if we generate a spiritual “to-BE” list, and focus on all God wants us to become, our “to-do” lists will be accomplished with greater grace and purpose in mind.
In the words of the Apostle Paul: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, ESV).
Go forth and do…but more importantly, go forth and BE!