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Lists

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We need to be disciplined, striving to be productive and to get things done. More importantly though, we need to remember that everything we do and who we are should be all about honoring and glorifying God.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15 ESV)

Lately I have felt as though I just had too many balls in the air and that I needed to be more structured. As I pounded my pillow one night, I rambled to my husband that ‘things had to change in my life’. I reasoned that since I had managed to control and discipline my eating by writing down the night before what I would eat the next day, I should control my every move and goal the same way. And yes, this ‘diet’ was key for me since my office has many colleagues who love to bring rich dainties.  It is a dangerous ‘see-food diet’ place to be, but if it’s not on the list, I can’t eat it . . . so why not write down and plan my whole life the same way?

After all, list making is a good thing – right?

Yes, goal setting and being focused is a great way to accomplish things and to stay on track.  My man knows me very well.  He waited until I was done with my rant and then softly asked, ‘Some lists and goals are okay, but you can get caught up in that – we need to leave room for the Holy Spirit to direct us. We are to ask the Lord each day, ‘What would you have me do today, Lord?’

Now that just made me mad.

My life was an out-of-control mess and I was trying to rope it in. But I knew that my husband was right, (oh please don’t call him and tell him I said that). For me, if I write down and plan everything too much, I will plow through life focused on what has to be done and miss the things and people the Lord brings to me spontaneously. In the end ‘soft’ lists and weekly check-off goal charts were the answer. They would keep me focused and progressing, but without controlling me.

We need to be disciplined people who are striving to be productive and to get things done, but more importantly, we need to remember that everything we do and who we are should be all about honoring and glorifying Him.

Father, thank You that You’ve given us dreams and goals! Forgive us for the times that we set our plans in concrete and plow through our days. Help us to hold onto our lists and schedules lightly, allowing You to use us spontaneously when needed. Holy Spirit, empower and fill us that we would be tuned in to be obedient to Your call. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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