Are you a list maker?
I am. I’m one of those weirdos who gets a charge out of making a to-do list for the day and triumphantly striking items off as they’re completed.
Sometimes, mid-morning, I’ll even write “shower” on the list and cross it out as something I’ve already accomplished. It gives me some kind of endorphin shot to know that I’ve gotten something done, even if it wasn’t very heroic.
My husband, Jim, and I are now six-months in to our fixer-upper challenge. You should see the lists! We have a whole pad of them. There was the “This Needs to Get Finished Before We Can Move in” list, then the “Get This Done So There’s a Space for the Kids to Come Home to” list. There’s the “Things to Do Before Our Appraisal” list and the “This Can Be Wait Until After the Appraisal” list.
Every day, there’s a “Lowe’s” list—the supplies we need for the task ahead. And the minute we get home from buying everything on the Lowe’s list, we start the “Things We Should Have Gotten the First Time We Went to Lowe’s” list.
Many of my lists have sub-lists. I’m just that fancy.
Recently, I was listening to a Donald Miller podcast which had been marketed as a time-management revelation. Once I started listening, I discovered it was really about making to-do lists. At first, I didn’t think that was all that revolutionary.
But then he asked a very poignant question: “What are the things that—if you DON’T do them today—you’ll regret?”
I sat in a stunned silence.
I wanted to hide the to-do list I had prepared for the day, even though no one else was looking at it.
You see, I knew that if I let that 24-hour time frame pass without spending time in solitude with Jesus, it would be regrettable. I knew that if I didn’t intentionally connect with Jim at some point that day, it would be a day wasted.
I knew I should text my daughter, just to remind her that I love her with my whole heart. And I should make my son’s favorite meal because, well…he’s 19. Nothing says love to him like Favorite Chicken.
The problem was that none of those things were on my to-do list. Not one.
And I started to wonder…If God had written my to-do list for the day, what would it have looked like?
Maybe God DOES write a to-do list for me each day. And when I actually do something He planned for me, He gets great satisfaction from crossing it off the list.
How often do I give Him that joy?
I’m afraid that all too often, I’m much too wrapped up in building my own little kingdom to be distracted by His.
But the Lord’s Prayer says, “Thy kingdom come.”
Thine. Not mine.
God’s agenda should dictate my to-do’s. His plans should order my day.
And what does His kingdom look like? What is His agenda?
Psalm 68:5-6a says,
5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
6 God sets the lonely in families,
Scripture describes God’s kingdom as a beautiful time and place where there are no orphans, no widows, no lonely and no tears. There’s no death, no sorrow, no illness or pain.
When I write those truths, I can eagerly say, “Thy kingdom come!”
And when I think of my orphan friends, I am reminded of the tears they shed in prayer. They long so desperately for a kingdom without death, pain, separation, ridicule–a world without neglect or abuse, loneliness or hunger.
So I pray for God’s kingdom to come. Now, I need to adjust my to-do lists to look like I mean it.
What would my to do list look like if God wrote it?
We actually don’t have to wonder. He did.
Micah 6:8 tells us, “What does the Lord require of you? To
act justly and to
love mercy and to
walk humbly with your God.”
Three tasks. How many of them have I accomplished today? How many of them even made it onto my to-do list?
As the people of God, we need daily, practical agendas that line up with His. Then, when we check items off our to-do lists, we can know that God is celebrating with us!
As you pray for The Boaz Project this month,
Pray that the Church would pray in earnest, “Thy kingdom come,” and then work to make it happen!
Thank God for the Southern Gospel benefit concert one of our donors held. It was a great fundraiser that gave The Boaz Project increased exposure in the community.
Pray for our house parents, that they would have the stamina necessary to persevere through the financial, spiritual and relational challenges that face them daily.
Thank God and celebrate with our House of Joy in India. One of the girls from this home, Rheka, was married. Another, Salamuthu, was baptized! Please pray that both of these young ladies would live lives which bring joy to their heavenly Father.
Praise God for the safety and productivity He granted our teams traveling to India and Russia. He answered many specific prayers along the way!
Believing in miracles,
*This article is the second in a series walking through The Lord’s Prayer from an orphan’s perspective.