Let me start by saying that, despite the name of this post, I am the self-proclaimed Queen of To Do Lists. If Do-To-Ville existed, I would be its queen and life would probably not go on happily ever after.
That might not sound so bright and cheery, but it is true. After reading this brilliant post from Jen Fulwiler, I realized I had to let go of my to do lists. Her post came at the end of the ‘7 posts in 7 days’
dare challenge, a week in which I was particularly exhausted. It was in the middle of wedding planning chaos (‘middle’ because it was the mid-way point of our engagement, not ‘middle’ because things necessarily calmed down after that) and my affinity for ‘to do’ lists was as active as ever. I’d get through a weekend and feel pretty accomplished, satisfied that many things could be crossed off this magic list of mine. I’d pull up my list, content to cross off what had been accomplished, and as I laid in bed Sunday night after Sunday night, I felt defeated. Even if everything for that particular weekend was finished, I’d look at what all needed to be done in the coming weeks and months feeling more and more behind. Instead of rejoicing at what had been accomplished, I became consumed with feelings of inadequacy as I stared at my never ending to do list.
In reality this was the opposite of my goal. On a particularly stressful night not long after we got engaged, I sat down and wrote up a document. I put down each weekend we had between then and the wedding and then I began assigning tasks to each weekend. Looking at it all I felt much more at peace, confident that everything that needed to get done would, in fact, get done. For the first few weeks, the list worked like a charm. I felt accomplished and comfortable with where we were and not letting ALL THE WEDDING THINGS overwhelm me. But as time wore on, I found myself, not just on Sundays, but nearly every night of the week, pouring over this list of mine. Instead of taking each day, each task as it came to me (split up to avoid me over-stressing), I let worry and stress fill my life. Instead of feeling accomplished, I’d end each weekend feeling like a failure and I’d wake up Monday morning feeling much the same.
The cycle wore on and on until I read Jen’s post. It was then that it hit me: even if I didn’t give up my ‘to do’ lists (which would scare the living daylights out of me), I had to give up the way I approached them. I had to learn to be confident in what God was doing beyond my little list. His list is bigger, but I don’t get to see it. And guess what: His list always gets finished. At the end of the day there is no task that God doesn’t cross off His list. Take heart that even if your ‘to do’ list isn’t finished at the end of the day, His is.
There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life. I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever; there is no adding to it, or taking from it. Thus has God done that he may be revered. What now is has already been; what is to be, already is: God retrieves what has gone by.
-Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11-12, 14-15