I’m a list person. Big time. I’ve been known to actually make lists of my lists. I think that means I have a problem. There’s probably a 12-step program. I’m intrigued that they’ll probably need to list the steps.
Until there’s an intervention, I’ll just tell you that I’ll keep on listing. My lists help me sort out all the “have to do’s” from the “should have dones” and the “wish I had time to do’s.”
One of my favorite things about lists is the sheer pleasure of the checking. Checkmarks are ridiculously satisfying. So much so that I’ve been known to write to-do’s on my list that I’ve already to-done. Just so I can check them off. Looks something like this:
- Get up
- Drink coffee
I’ve checked both of those off this morning. The fact that I’m typing is proof. Of both.
You may have guessed that I’m not a list person because I’m organized. I’m a list person because I’m not organized by nature and because I forget everything I don’t write down.
It’s funny because I saw a tongue-in-cheek to do list that I’d made a few years ago when my five children were little. The list included: get groceries, cut gum out of cat’s fur, pick up dry-cleaning, clean potato chips out of fish tank, buy birthday gift, salvage daughter’s favorite shirt from computer printer, schedule dentist appointments, buy new computer printer, plan nervous breakdown…. I knew it was a joke-list by that last one. Mostly because I never had anywhere near enough time for a nervous breakdown.
While things are a different kind of busy these days, there’s still an always-challenging kind of busy. So I’m still making the lists. And I’m still okay with that. I feel like God has always been a list person too. He didn’t write to do lists because He forgets. He wrote to-do lists because we forget. Many of His lists are sweet reminders. Some are stern warnings. All are vital for walking in victory.
One of my favorites is the lovely list in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 of what love is and what it isn’t: “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends,” (HCSB).
Our God knows us well. He knows we have a tendency to be selfish instead of loving. When have we ever had to write on our to do lists:
- Snap at spouse
- Lose patience with store clerk
Our love? It can fail. But His? Never. It’s a glorious thought. Despite my long list of failures, His love remains, true and steady. As a matter of fact, there’s nothing I can put on my list of failures that His love can’t cross right off the list. Not a check. A Cross.
O Lord, Your love and mercy puts a sincere “be thankful” at the top of my every list.
And to be honest, today I think I’ll stop and be at least a little thankful that I don’t have to cut gum out of the cat’s fur.