MY SECRET TO-DO LIST
“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
* * *
I confess: I’m a list-maker. I think I enjoy making them almost as much as I enjoy completing them. They keep me organized and in line. Somehow a neat, orderly column pulls an overwhelming task down into the realm of possibility.
A few months ago I made the most important list of my life.
My initial thought was to hang an old marker board in the shower so I could capture writing ideas that might otherwise escape while getting ready in the morning. That plan went quickly by the way-side when the pens wouldn’t write in the shower steam. I soon discovered that the Holy Spirit had something better in mind.
Later that week, I found myself wrestling my way through a decision as I cleaned the bathroom. I longed to hear clear instructions from the Holy Spirit but my mind spun in a dozen directions. I needed to bring myself back to ground zero, to get back to the lowest denominator.
I grabbed a couple of the markers and wrote down what has become my permanent to-do list. These are not new ideas. They are as old as time. I’ve believed in them and practiced them thousands of times over the years.
But there’s something very powerful about setting truth as a signpost before you.
Stop. Worship the Creator who knows you by name, sees each breath you will take, and understands every detail of the world around you. Share your day, your circumstances, your heart with Him as you would your best friend. Wait. Be still. Listen. Worship.
If what you hear lines up with the character of God as revealed in Jesus, if it agrees with the truth of God’s Word, move forward as He has directed you. Don’t put it off. Don’t wait until you begin to wrestle with it again. Listen and obey. Quickly.
Set that decision on a shelf. Lean back and take a deep breath. Rest in the safety of God’s love, power, and wisdom. Know that He is always and forever lining things up and putting details in order for a perfect purpose. Know that He will continue to show you steps as they need to be made and correct you when you start to go off course – as you keep your heart and life soft before Him.
Expect. Look for results. Laugh. Go forward with other tasks that need to be done, confident that the Holy Spirit is doing more than you know to ask for. Thank Him for taking care of and leading you every time the issue comes to mind.
“And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule
(act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling
with finality all questions that arise in your minds…]”
Colossians 3:15 AMP
Rarely a morning goes by that I don’t pull my day back to this list. In what could become a panic with all that needs to get done, I look up at the board and take a deep breath.
My Father knows what lies before me.
He knows what is important.
He sees the big picture.
He loves to lead me to the other side.
I love that!
How about you?
Do you have a special list?
How does the Holy Spirit lead you through decisions?
Do you see areas that you need to work on?
Find more of Amy’s encouragement in Embracing the Season.