June 30, 2016

To-Do List

The older I get the more I make lists to remind me of what I need to get done for the day. We have company coming for the holiday weekend, so I have a list for the grocery store, a list for household chores, and a to-do list for Bill. I’ve never compiled, nor do I know anyone who has ever compiled, a spiritual list of to-do’s. I get the sense the Paul is recommending we add spiritual things to our to-do list. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Col 3:1-2 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I have a love/hate relationship with to-do lists. My life hasn’t been near what it should be because I’ve made such rare use of them. But my life would not be what it is if to-do lists had continually restrained my curiosities from affecting my procedures. I can’t count how many times I’ve arrived home an item short of a full recipe, a part short of a complete repair, or a board short of a finished project. But then, neither can I think of any scriptures which instruct us to use to-do lists.
-----On the other hand…well, I can’t describe what I mean shortly, and the best term I know for it is emergence, which is not a very commonly known concept, so I’ll relate a short example.
-----Although my life without to-do lists has developed a lot of built-in clutter, some interesting things of reality have been able to “grow as they are” from that clutter. Three years ago, Char and I decided we needed more storage room (yes, lots of clutter.) I offered to build rather than buy, and Char bought my offer. I proposed a storage room with a basement. As I mostly do things my own way, and being completely terrified of heights, and always working alone, no way was I going to attempt forming up basement walls. So, I was in the process of attempting to construct my basement walls in two stages (an idiotic idea one would never find on a to-do list.) But after two weeks of mixing three or four loads of concrete then perpetually fighting my cement mixer to keep it running (which repairs should have been on a to-do list of some previous year,) Char finally became impatient and retracted her desires for a basement. Nobody is going to exert the sweat and effort that building a basement requires for someone who does not want one. And even though I knew she would like it once I made it, I was unwilling to build it against the flows of anger such effort running counter to her desires would produce. But after having half-filled in the hole I had dug for her basement, I got an idea that a modified to-do list would never have allowed. I stopped filling and went back to constructing. I kept mum about it until I had built the floors and stairs to Char’s small, tri-level store room. Then I showed her what I was doing. She loves it!
-----I’ve always been over-enamored with spontaneity and under-enamored with preparation. I would have made a better artist than CPA. But my artistic fiber has also provided me with a solid understanding of the true, but hidden nature of financial reporting (can we all say in unison: “Ken Lay!”)
-----The Bible does present us with a to-do list. Item 1) Repent. Item 2) Be baptized into Christ Jesus. Item 3) Live in Him. Item 3 is rather a repetition of items 1 and 2, understanding that we repent of daily misdeeds to continually re-immerse obedience into the waters of His living Word. Then there comes that Holy Spirit thing, you know, the one that is about not giving thought to what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will put the words in your mouth which are needed -completely counter-conceptual to a to-do list. So I call life a dance. And anyone familiar with grabbing hold of a delightful partner and gliding around the floor to good music knows that doing it gracefully requires controlling yourself only as much as you are being controlled. And although you can’t put that on a to-do list, your footsteps emerge from one you had learned in the beginning.

Love you all,
Steve Corey