There are a lot of things I have to do each day. Lots of things. Sound familiar? Most days I actually have more on my plate than I can ever hope to get done…. and have any time left over to sleep, that is. Does that sound like your life, too? It crossed my mind to list everything I did today, but then the thought of it started to make me sweat and get all jittery.
Sometimes when I have actually accomplished a lot of what I set out to do in a day, I sit back with a real sense of satisfaction. I can almost pull a muscle trying to reach around and pat myself on the back. How sick is it to list off the things I got done to find myself acceptable? To justify my very existence, even? Pretty sick, I think.
Sometimes it’s the only way I can allow myself the time to sit and read or watch a mindless television show like American Ninja Warriors. Have I accomplished enough of the things on my list for the day to deserve a mindless break? I may need professional help.
But then there are the days when the guilt of un-accompishment can make me feel like a bigger dope. Sometimes the plans I have for the day, all the things on my list, just don’t seem to come together. Something I didn’t plan for sets my to-do list on it’s edge. And my stress level rises. My list just got fuller for tomorrow. Have you experienced that feeling, too? All those things I have to do left undone. Whatever will I do?
Here’s a bit of truth. All of the things on our list of things that we HAVE to do, were put there by… us. We took on a job, or a responsibility, or volunteered to handle that thing. We did. I agreed to take a job, have four children, be a good daughter, support my husband, have friends, buy a house, write a blog… The decisions I have made, the choices I have made for my life, have directly contributed to the things I “have” to do each day. My day. My list.
Except that’s not all of it. The day I decided to become a follower of Christ, my days were no longer my own. Saying “yes” to Jesus meant saying “no” to myself. Every day. It means that I am supposed to set aside my list for His. Rather than directing my own path, I am to follow in His. All that I truly have to do is all He would have me to do. When I do this, sometimes I have to say no to things on the list. It’s not that those things are not important. It’s not that they don’t matter. Well, some of them don’t. Not really. Not as much as I make out that they do.
As a Christ follower it is my job, my commission, to share the name of Jesus. Above all else, that is my job. To love Him with my whole heart, mind, and soul. To love others as I love myself (and my list). To set aside my full plate and take up His cross (cause, agenda) daily. Now on the rare occasion that I have actually been able to do this, now those are red letter days! I don’t have my own appointments, I have Divine appointments. I don’t get more time in my day, but I get more day in my time! I see things I would normally miss as I rush too and fro. I remember to see the world around me through mercy’s eyes. I take the time to love, share, laugh, and care.
At the conclusion of those days, His days, I am still tired. But I am fulfilled. I know that I accomplished all He had in mind for my day. The guilt of things left undone or done poorly, is gone. The days we give back to Him, when strung together, are the days that make for a life that matters. That’s the life I really want, how about you?