“Okay, first I need to go to the gym, then I need to get ready for the day, reply to my emails, set up social media posts for the day, run to pick-up my little sister, stop at the mall and pick up my Christmas gifts, buy a dress for a wedding, go home, make lunch/dinner, put in a few hours of work, go to a mid-week church service, go back home make cookies for a party, edit an email blast, and bed.”
I’m exhausted simply typing out that to-do list, let alone completing it.
I don’t know about you but I’m a to-do list kind of person. Like the kind that plans out when they’re going to drink their afternoon tea, how much time they’ll spend each morning replying to emails, and how many hours they’ll dedicate each week to “social time.”
I always find that during the Christmas season my to-do’s lists start to grow and grow and grow until I’m overscheduled and overtired.
Well, a few weeks ago I got sick. The kind of sick where you watch the rest of the world celebrate Christmas, while you sit on the couch for the month of December.
As the days passed, the festivities went on, and I continued to sit on my couch, or in my bed, as the items in my agenda went unchecked day-after-day.
To-lists can be great. They can help you keep track of deadlines, hit goals, and stay productive. They can teach you time management and constructive planning, all while keeping you organized.
But if your to-do list has your name on the cover and not Gods you are headed for trouble.
Being sick is no fun, and I’d never want someone to go through it. But what I wish everyone would experience is the slowing down of life that it brings.
I’m naturally someone who likes to live a pretty fast paced life. I like to believe that there is an art to multi-tasking, that sitting is a waste of time, and that every minute of the day is precious.
But every single time I get sick, I am reminded of the sweetness and the importance of being still.
In a season that is filled with busyness and exhilaration, I want to encourage you to make time for being still. It’s easy to get caught up in the hubbub of the season, but don’t let the wrapping paper and the cookies distract you from the real reason for the season.
Over the years I have come to the conclusion that God despises our to-do lists. Although many of the things on them are great and used for His glory, I bet He often time finds them ridiculous.
It’s easy for us to place our own to-do lists over God’s to-do list for us.
You see, God’s to-do list for us is way easier than the items that are often stacked on our own to-do lists.
His list can be found in Mark 12:30-31 which reads:
1. Love God
2. Love Others
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
The problem with our to-do lists is they often place the two items on God’s to-do list far down the list. For some, including myself, I sometimes even forget to put those items even on the list, let alone at the top.
When I wrote out the to-do list at the top of this email, I remember thinking I didn’t have any time to spend with God that day. No devotional time, no prayer time, nada. When in reality, that should have been the first thing on my to-do list.
Maybe you already are good at this, and maybe you don’t need a reminder to focus on God during the season that celebrates the birth of His Son. But if you’re anything like me then you can use all the reminders you can get.
If this workaholic, people pleaser can learn to slow things down and reprioritize my to-do list, then so can you.
Take time today to think about where your priorities lie this Christmas season.
With you always,
TODAY’S PROMPT —
What does your to-do list look like? Today think about how you can revise it to look more like Mark 12:30-31.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING —
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Mark 12:30-31