Recently, I was reading a blog written by Linda McCullough Moore. She was sharing some words of wisdom that had been spoken to her:
She began by saying that we will all die with to-do lists. She noted that our lists seem only to grow, never to shrink. And so, her wisdom was this:
“Accept the fact that your to-do list will never be completed, and so, while you are whittling away at it, make relationships the centerpiece of your life.”
This wise woman suggested that we might trade in the frank impossibility of ever finishing a to-do list for the entirely possible endeavor of forming relationships that matter. I may not have her phrasing precisely as she spoke, but I’m quite sure of the meaning.
When it comes to our to-do lists, there is a behavior we persist in without rhyme or reason. With no evidence whatsoever that we can, or will, complete our list of tasks, nevertheless we get up every morning determined to give it just one more try. Every morning. Every day of our lives.
But what if, instead, today we got out of bed and said, “Today while I am nibbling away at my to-do list, I’m going to keep my focus centered on being with God and other people in ways that are loving and important, growing in bonds that will last for time and all eternity”?”
Dear sisters in faith, my reality today is this: apart from a miracle my one and only daughter is not long on the earth. We may have weeks…we may have many months ahead. God alone knows the time we have left to be in relationship with one another.
I’m so keenly aware of this reality that I almost don’t care a wit about anything else. But thankfully/prayerfully grace sustains and keeps my soul and spirit fixed on doing the things I need most and letting go of any and everything that would rob me of precious moments with my beloved.
What about you? Is your living being robbed of meaningful, intentional, deep relationship by the “to-do” list? Pause and ponder on this today. If your list is out of control and you find that you have drifted from keeping the main thing the main thing — STOP! Just stop! Make a decision TODAY to make the to-do of relationship as important as the to-do lists of things really need to get done. Let’s decide to whittle away at the extraneous things and focus our minds, wills and emotions on the main thing: relationship with God and relationship with one another.
“Loving God. Loving each other. And the story never ends.”
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”-Mark 12:30-31
Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children.
Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.