Monday, 30 January 2017 09:46

What's On Your To-Do List?

Written by  Sam Whatley
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I have noticed that some people are list makers and some are not. Some folks make a detailed grocery list before going to the store, while others get there and wander down every aisle. List makers are trying to be efficient, trying to do more in less time. So, they plan ahead.

Planning ahead is a good idea, in general. But sometimes I wonder about the plan behind the plan. A military friend of mine tells me that the tactics used on the battlefield depend on the overall strategy that the officers chose when they were preparing for the battle. But that strategy depends on an assumption, hypothesis, or decision that created the need for the battle, in the first place. As many soldiers have asked, “Who started this war, anyway?”


Which brings me back to our list makers. Some lists are designed to get things done that day, but others look further down the road. There are lists of things you will need on vacation, New Year’s Resolutions, and even bucket lists. We are always trying to get more things done, but do we ever stop to wonder why?


Okay, certain things must get done or there will be dire consequences. If no one buys the groceries, we will not eat very well. If bills do not get paid, things we need will start to disappear. But let’s look back and see if the battles we are facing are the ones we should have chosen. Do we ever consider how we arrived at the place in life we find ourselves today? Did we get to this place by obeying God’s leading, disobeying Him, or just ignoring God all together?


This is the plan behind the plan, the authority behind the authority. In other words, who rules your life? Did you stop to ask for God’s advice before you took this job, chose this school, or launched into this marriage? Or did you, as most of us tend to do, take the path of least resistance and most convenience?


Many of us seldom consider that God has an interest in our daily lives. We may wonder, “What does God care where I work or go to school, or even who I marry? What difference does it make to Him?”


The Apostle Paul answered that question in his letter to the Ephesians. He said, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).


Did you catch that? God had a plan for our lives long before we arrived. He is not making things up on the spur of the moment. We may be doing that, but He is not. He has prepared events in our lives from here to eternity.


You may have noticed that Paul said that we are “…created in Christ Jesus to do good works...” Jesus said it this way in Luke:


“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24 NIV).


So, when we willingly choose to follow Christ’s leading in our lives, we are actually becoming the people we really want to be. Then our goals make sense. Then we can feel that our work, our marriages, and our pursuits are rewarding, because we know they are pleasing to God.


And then our lists make sense too, not dominate us. They allow us to do what we need to do, to be who we need to be. We can have the attitude Paul wrote to the Colossians about:


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV).


So, whether you are one who makes lists, or a free spirit taking life as it comes, be sure you know God has a plan for your life. Listen to Him. Follow His lead.



Last modified on Monday, 30 January 2017 09:55
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