Don’t get bogged down with to-do lists

By Gerry Lewis | Published Saturday, August 25, 2018

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“Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”

I realize that sissies is not a politically correct word, but I’m quoting Bette Davis.

I’ve heard time flies when you’re having fun. In my experience, once you hit a certain age, time flies whether you are having fun or not.

Time really does march on. It doesn’t drag or fly. It simply marches forward in an unwavering, unending tempo.

Our perspective is what makes it seem to drag or fly.

When I’m waiting for my grandchildren to arrive at my house, it seems to drag.

When I looked at the calendar this morning and realized that 2018 is two-thirds gone, I can’t believe how it’s flown by. I have so much to do before this year is done. My 2018 to-do list may be longer now than it was in January.

If we are driven by the clock, calendar and to-do list, then time is running out. We’re aging. We’re wasting away.

We can’t turn back the clock or calendar despite the claims of various supplements, lotions, and health regimens.

The to-do list gets longer and out of control – productivity, achievement, accomplishment and success. It’s like chasing shadows or grasping at mist.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

This renewal is not turning back the clock but reframing our way of thinking. One of life’s subtle lies is that God has great things for each of us to do. The truth is that God has an amazing life for each of us to live.

That’s the perspective I’m seeking. It’s living from the inside out. It’s living from the core and not the list.

In my case, it’s traveling joyfully, focusing forward, packing strategically, and listening intently. It’s being amazed, being amazing and championing amazingness. It’s doing what I must do to fulfill my calling rather than completing the list.

That’s life-giving and joy-replenishing.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have a list. I’m saying our list should be formed out of a perspective that is being continuously renewed.

Our lives matter to God. Our lists tend to matter more to us. We can accomplish everything on our lists and still live a joyless and purposeless existence.

I can’t find a verse in the Bible that says God is the source of lists. I can find plenty that say He is the source of life.

How will you embrace renewal today? Be amazing, my friend.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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