Have you ever had one of ‘those’ days? Lately I’ve been so busy, I feel behind before I start. When I look at my ‘to do’ list it just seems to get longer with less and less checked off as done. Then there was today. I woke up later than usual, so felt a little rushed during my quiet time, when translated means ‘I read hurriedly through my Bible reading, getting nothing, because my mind was somewhere else: My To Do list.’
First thing was to bake bread, an easy task with my faithful Bosch mixer. Five loaves in a snap. But the mixer died with the dough still in the bowl. My husband tried to oil it and fix it and I decided to try to bake the loaves any way. Only one word: disaster. Five really ugly bricks came out of the oven. Add to list: #18 call Bosch dealer.
Meanwhile, I looked at ‘the list.’ Only one thing checked off and it was getting late in the day. I had a quick, delightful visit from a friend which was great because she was on ‘the list.’ I needed to deliver a package to her house so her unexpected visit checked one more thing off the list. I still had emails to do, a book to mail, letters and thank you notes to write, a study guide to edit, 18 items in all.
In the middle of all of this I got a phone call. As I answered the phone, I heard a frantic voice exclaim, “Are you there yet? Are you on the way?”
Grrreat! Now not only was I behind on everything else, I had missed an appointment! But what appointment? I mentally went over my calendar and just knew I had forgotten something important. Then the voice said, “Nancy?” and we both realized that she had the wrong number. In my anxiety, I had panicked and my heart was really racing now.
Trying to calm myself, I looked at ‘the list’ one more time.
As I ran upstairs to look for the misplaced stamps for the letters (again!), I heard that small quiet voice of the Lord in the far corner of my heart. “Would you like to swap your list for mine?”
What? He had a list for me too? My response to Him was, “Could you repeat that, please?”
“Would you like to know what is on my list for you today?” Mmmm. That was a new thought for me.
I did vaguely remember something in my devotion this morning from the book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. “On some days, your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance: the demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives-giving up or relying on Me.”
Now, I had a choice to make.
I had made my list of things I needed to do and things I should do and things I had to do. And each time I looked, the list seemed longer. I couldn’t decide where to start or what to do next. Can we say anxiety attack. MY list had become a harsh taskmaster, robbing me of peace, and any feeling of accomplishment. I was so overwhelmed just by looking at this long list, I felt paralyzed and tired.
But Robert Heidler, one of favorite Bible teachers says, “There’s good news! You can repent!” and repent I did. I stopped. I prayed. I repented for not taking the time with Him early. I repented for pushing so hard in my own strength that I felt frustrated and swamped. He had a much better plan, if I would only take a few minutes and ask.
Like a sweet, gentle rain, peace came.
I sat down to look at my list again, choosing to listen and mark off those things He said were not for today.
- The first thing was “Write a catchup email to a friend.” Not necessary today. Crossed off!
- Number two. Take pickles to Kay. Already done, she came by.
- Number three. Bake bread. Well, we know how that turned out.
- Number four. Send the list to Israel. Forgot, sent it on Friday. Done.
- Number five. Number six. Number seven. All the way to 18!
In the end, there were only three things that I needed to accomplish today. Within an hour, His list was done except the edit, which will be done on another day. Do I still have a list? Yes. However, I am no longer a slave to it. It is Our list now. He said “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest….My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Here is our new list:
- Number one. Ask him what I need to do today.
- Number two. Ask Him what needs to be done first.
- Number three. Ask Him for wisdom and strength to get done what I can and forget the rest!
- Number four. Remember if none of these things get done today, the world will still go on tomorrow.
I think Jesus said it well. “Take no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow will have troubles (and lists!) enough of it’s own.”
Blessings to you as your swap your lists for His!
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