Your “To Do” List

If any of you are like me, I am a “To Do” list kind of girl! I love making “To Do” lists to help me remember everything I need to do and get done for the day. And I love the feeling of accomplishment when I get to cross things off my list! I know some of you may think I have some issues…and I will be the first to say I do! …just like everybody else.

With life so busy though, it can be challenging trying to remember that my son needs to bring a “Show and Tell” item that begins with the letter G…or that I need to send out invites for my other son’s birthday party…or what time flag football practice is that day…or what items I need to buy from the grocery store to make dinner for that evening! And that’s not even my work “To Do” list!

In my experience of making these daily lists, I have come to realize a few things about “To Do” lists…

1)      They aren’t necessarily prioritized.

2)      They don’t always get done.

3)      They can get lost…and then back to using your memory.

4)      They can grow throughout the day as unanticipated things find their way on the list.

For some of us, with the great intention and desire to spend time with God, we have added God to our “To Do” lists as well.

Do you put God on your “To Do” list? …Do you put God on your list with the hope of getting in some time with Him either in the morning or another part of your day?

For those of you who aren’t “To Do” list ladies… First of all, you are truly awesome to get done what you need to do each day…I admire you although I may not comprehend how you do it without a “To Do” list…but stay with me here! …I believe you will still relate to this blog!

The problem with putting God on our “To Do” list is that since the list isn’t necessarily prioritized, our time with God doesn’t become a priority. Or even if He is a priority, something else may all of sudden require immediate attention and kicks God out as a priority…pushing Him further down the list.

In the book called “Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent,” (an expansion of his classic book called “The Tyranny of the Urgent”), Charles Hummel explains how the urgent things tend to take priority over the most important things in life and discusses efficient vs. effective prioritizing. What may seem urgent…like answering an email or a text message…may not be important. (Something I personally need to keep reminding myself this when my children want me to play with them and I am busy texting a friend!)

God should not be on our “To Do’ lists…He is the “To Do” list. He is the very reason we have been given the responsibilities on our list. He isn’t an item to just check off and say… “Ok I am done spending time with God today!”

He is part of our entire day…He infiltrates every decision we make…He reminds us of patience when the person at the checkout counter is buying their groceries with a bag of change…He restrains us when someone cuts us off while driving and everything in us wants to shout some absurdity back… He reminds us…me!… to stay calm when we are in a rush running out the door and our child spills all his crackers on the floor and has proceeded to take off the shoes you just put on him!

We make “To Do” lists to make sure we remember the things we need to do… but some things are more important than others…some items take priority over others.

I believe the following passage in Malachi 1:6-11 has very interesting parallel to spending time with God and our daily “To Do” lists.

6“A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.

“It is you priests who show contempt for my name.

“But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’

7“By offering defiled food on my altar.

“But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’

“By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. 8When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

9“Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”—says the Lord Almighty.

10“Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. 11My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

In the Old Testament in Leviticus 1:3, God’s law required that only perfect animals be offered to God. But the priests in this passage were allowing the people to offer blind, crippled, and diseased animals to God. So God accused them of dishonoring Him by offering imperfect sacrifices…this greatly displeased Him.

So what does this mean for us today? We clearly do not offer God animal sacrifices today. The blood of sacrificed animals only covered sin in the Old Testament…it did not remove it. These animal sacrifices were necessary until the final and perfect sacrifice was made…Jesus. Jesus came to offer Himself once and for all for all the sins of mankind. Animal blood no longer needs to be shed, because the blood of Jesus has been shed. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His blood cleanses us.

The New Testament says that our lives should be living sacrifices to God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Rom 12:1NIV

So here is my challenge to you…to me…If we are to give God only our leftover time and energy, aren’t we displeasing God just as these worshipers who didn’t want to bring anything valuable to God?

Our time is valuable and it’s important for us to protect it so that we can focus on the important…not just the urgent. Time is the one thing we can never change or take back once it’s gone. What we give God reflects our true attitude toward Him.

Whether God makes your “To Do” list or not…whether you even make a “To Do” list…is He getting what He is worthy of? Is He getting the honor due His name? …Or Is He getting your leftovers? Is He getting your leftovers in time and energy?

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 NIV

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

My prayer and desire for you..and for me…is to make sure we are making God a priority in our life before the busyness takes over…before we become distracted by “urgent” things…before we get pulled in so many directions to fill the needs of everyone around us and then we find ourselves tired, wiped out, and unable to give Him the quality time He deserves.

God, who created you and me…the creator of the universe…the creator of time…the God who brings the sun up each day…Doesn’t He deserve the very best?

Reflection Points:

1)      Do you make “To Do” lists to remember what you need to get done each day? If so, do you put spending time with God on your list?

2)      Whether you make a list or not, is it a priority to spend time with God each day?

3)      How do you make spending time with God a priority so that the “urgent” things do not take its place?

Action Points:

1)      Think about the important things in your life and begin prioritizing those things. Your relationship with God is important so much that He asks us to seek Him first in everything we do…everything else will fall into place. (Matt. 6:33)

2)      Christianity is a relationship…not a religion. It is your life. Your trust in Him will grow as you spend quality time with Him…Your intimacy will grow as you spend quality time with Him…Your “To Do” list can wait …so you can spend quality time with Him. He wants to commune with you…He desires to spend time with you. Make Him a priority today…Your first priority.

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