In the bible, God tells us not to have idols. An idol is anything that we are consumed with, anything that draws most of our attention to it. Common idols can be money, vanity, self-pleasure, even a person that you know or don’t know (a famous person). Yesterday, I learned I have an idol, one that I wouldn’t have guessed fit into that category but by definition it completely does.
It’s my “To Do List”. I can be consumed with it, and it definitely draws my attention to it, day after day. How can a “To Do List” be bad, you may ask? Well, for me it tends to crowd out God, bully him to the back. It can even replace God on certain days, since it tells me what to do, and in what order. It controls me.
It is the opposite of how God wants us to be in relationship with Him. He wants to be the guiding voice in our lives. God wants to take us through our day, as our partner and friend. When I am focused on my “To Do List”, which does not have a line for “deviation,” I miss out on God’s plan for my day–playing a game with my children, bringing something to a neighbor in need, spending some time in prayer, or taking that phone call just to listen. I miss out on Him.
I don’t think that God is telling me not to have a To Do List. I think he is asking me to keep it in check, to keep it flexible so He can speak into it.
This devotional is from Jesus Calling, and it helped me be aware of my To Do List issue.
I am calling you to a life of constant communication with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted.
But I challenge you relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day as it comes, and find me in the midst of it all.
Talk to Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to do list (written or mental) become an idol for directing your life. Instead ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me.
1 Thessalonians 5:17, Proverbs 3:6
~Jesus Calling, p. 96