I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all the things I’m not getting done. I’d share them here, but the list is quite staggering.
I recently tried my old standby – “the “to do” list.
For years it’s been my go-to friend. I’d write everything I could think of on a piece of paper and get the most fun out of checking off each task, one by one. Looking at a well checked list assured me I was okay. I was worthwhile. I was accomplishing things.
So I tried making a new to do list.
It just made me feel overwhelmed. Rather than being motivated, I wanted to stick my head in the sand; climb back in the bed; veg out on Netflix.
My to do list has become my “I can’t do it anymore” list. Or may it’s become an “I don’t want to” list, or God forbid, maybe even an “I won’t” list.
Apparently, I’m waiting on me to regain my motivation.
The problem is two-fold, as I see it.
1) What’s the point?
I’ve sadly discovered the work is never done and that even if you finish, you just begin again. (I can’t believe the laundry has to be done over and over.) I need a purpose to help me determine the point – the goal – the win. (Excuse me while I pause to respond to the buzzing of the drier.)
2) Does it really matter?
That’s a good and honest question. Did you know that if you wait long enough, some of the items on your to do list will just go away? This is a lousy way of taking care of business, but it does highlight the difference between the urgent and the essential. Few things are really essential, but the essential things really do matter. So what is essential?
In the back of my mind, I hear a whisper, “It is just a season. Someday – one day – you’ll hit your groove again and your ‘to do’ will rev like the engine of your BMW, you’ll shift into fifth gear, and then watch out world. Check marks galore!”
I’m waiting on a lie. It’s not just a season. For more than a year, my “to do” has been having to yield to my “who.”
It’s messy. It’s disconcerting. It raises a question I don’t like to ask.
Is who I am really enough?
I’m aware I’m in an identity crisis. Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis! (That would explain so much.) I keep hitting the same wall, turning to my fearless leader (the Holy Spirit) and expecting Him to “coach me up.”
It must be half-time, because He’s not rating my performance, putting me through the drills of self-incrimination nor punishing me for lack of performance.
So since it’s half time and all…here’s a different kind of to do list. It’s short and sweet and ever so kind to my bruised capacities.
- Be kind.
Anybody else have really bad “self-talk” about your own performance? I’m the first on the line with a whistle and a clip board. This is bad coaching. So first thing on the to do list – just stop being mean to myself and to others.
- Eyes on the truth.
Who we are matters more than what we do. If we love God and love people, everything else will come into order. Keep your eyes on Jesus and His Word for the truth about the value of who you are.
- You are enough.
I want to be more like Paul who in Philippians 4: 12-13, shares a very important secret to overcoming the relentless demands of to do. I have learned the secret of being content (satisfied, filled, willing) in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Here is the coaching our weary souls long to receive. Christ doesn’t so much want to “coach us up” as he wants to “hold us up.”
If we lean into this truth, we begin to understand that “me in Christ and Christ in me” is enough. Our identity will never be found nor confirmed in a “to do” list. We are so much more than that!