Cleaning the refrigerator was at the top of my list for the day, mainly because I had run out of Tupperware and knew many containers were hiding on the bottom shelf. A bit further down the list was making sure each household member has clean underwear available for the next day and planing a nutritious evening meal young children will consume. Check. Check. And, partial check. On to the next item.
Most mornings I wake with a general idea of what my day will look like and what needs are most pressing. I know how I want them to do done, but circumstances beyond my control often step in to undermine my strategy. A phone call that requires immediate action, a forgotten ingredient for a meal to run after, a red light when all seven on the street should have been green for me, all disrupt my day.
I find myself battling against time, wondering why it is so hard to get everything done. Or, get everything done with the right attitude by the time I fall into bed at night.
Perhaps I have misunderstood the whole purpose of my day. Maybe the point of my day is not to get things done, but to be content while being the hands and feet of God in whatever I am doing.
"I found satisfaction in the doing of life, not in the getting done of it," Jerry Sittser explains in A Grace Disguised. His clarity came while mourning the loss of three family members to an accident in one night. To-do lists were no longer as important to him as what he called "the wonder of the present moment."
In Waking the Dead, John Eldridge comments, "Either we wake to tackle our 'to do' list, get things done, guided by our morals and whatever clarity we may at the moment have. Or we wake in the midst of a dangerous story, as God's intimate ally, following him into the unknown."
If my leftovers lurk on dark shelves for another day because a friend needs to talk to me, so what? If dinner for the night is hot dogs (again) because I would rather read a book with my toddler than go out in the snow for a forgotten ingredient, fine. I choose to enjoy the moments. I choose to put my agenda on hold when God's becomes obvious to me. After all, I really do not know how many moments my life will hold.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:39-42 NIV)
Jesus, I want your list to be my list. I want to be open to what you have planned for my day. Give me wisdom and a content heart as I face the challenges placed before me. Thank you for a new-found perspective on my purpose. Amen.