Realistic Expectations

shutterstock_Vector_Calendar_2013_110424602-300x300Oct. 23, 2013

Exodus 20:9-10a

Six days you shall labor and do all you work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work … For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in the, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 

I am a list maker. I love to make them. While I make lists for different reasons, my favorite is my daily “to do” list.  Most days, I have a list of things I want to accomplish. The only problem: I probably need 30 hours to get everything done.

The undone part of yesterday’s list now becomes part of today’s list. Of course, today’s list also has 30+ hours of items. By day’s end, I now have two uncompleted partial lists. And another full list for tomorrow!

Years ago, I took those classes which taught people to prioritize lists: classify them as A or B or C and then number within each category. Sometimes I color-code the lists. Until recent, I had two lists on a page: one for work and one for home. Over the years, I have made template pages for days of the week, weeks of month and months of the year to keep me organized. Unfortunately, next month’s items get out of whack because I never get everything done for this month. You see a pattern? It’s not a healthy one.

Lists are a way to capture things I do not want to forget. My problem is creating realistic lists. Honestly, there have been things I have carried forward for weeks that never get done. At some point, I stop putting it on the list. Sometimes things need to fall off the list. The things we don’t do can be a peak into our character. We can’t do everything. Mentally, we are to choose the things that fall into the areas we are best at. We must all do things we are not crazy about. But I also want to be doing the things I am the best at.

We are created to work and do good things for God’s kingdom. We are also created to simply be with God: to worship God, to take Sabbath, to enjoy our families and friends. Mentally, we need down time to re-energize ourselves for the next period of time. Down time is biblical, modeled for us by God.

The question often arises: “What constitutes Sabbath?” What is Sabbath for me may not be the same for another person. Personally, I think Sabbath should include specific time with God and worshiping God. Ideally, this is a way to rejuvenate ourselves and fill ourselves with the Holy Spirit.

Will I ever become more realistic about what can be done in a particular period of time as I make another list? Probably not in the near future. What I do pray is that the list never becomes more important than making time for Sabbath and worshiping God.

Thank you, Lord God, for a never-ending list of things we could do. Help us be discerning on what the most important things to do are and challenge us to complete them. Remind us again of the significance of creating Sabbath, time with you, our friends and family. May we make Sabbath something that does not fall off the list. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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