Do you ever feel like you never quite accomplish what you set out to do in a day? Not that you feel like a total slug, but there’s just something missing from the pattern so there’s a gap where achievement belongs.I’m a list maker – and because I’m not unique in that capacity, my guess is that some of you are too. I used to do a few tasks, then sneak them onto my list, just so I could have the satisfaction of crossing them off. Come on – tell my you haven’t ever done that.
Lately though, I want to give up on my lists. I know. Right? How can that even be possible? It has nothing to do with lack of additions to it. Confession time. My lists have lists now and that makes me feel like a failure. My friend, Kim and I have been starting each year with a booklet of daily, weekly, and periodic goals which we use to hold each other accountable. Supportive encouragement based on spiritual insights. That kind of accountable.
Sometimes my page looks like Swiss Cheese because I keep up, checking off one thing after another, just like I intended. I feel pretty good. But all those ‘pretty good atta boys’ fade when accomplishments are few and that page begins to look like a deep, empty well pit. It’s easy to tape a label to my forehead FAILURE. This is where an accountability partner is priceless. Kim will ask what God says about my pattern. Does it look like what he envisioned? Or is it messed up because of my own ideas and not enough of His?
On days like this, I’m glad God doesn’t have mood swings. In fact, no matter how many times I get distracted, accomplish nothing on my own list of intentions, and do life my own way, God just says, ““I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Every morning (well, almost every morning) I start my day with God. I am just as vocal about telling Him what I don’t want as I am asking for what I do. There’s nothing like getting a clear, prayerful understanding. Open heart, open opportunity. Time with the Lord is a gift from Him to me. It’s opportunity to adjust my attitude before the day comes rolling in at full throttle. Mindset – Be thankful. Attitude – Choose Joy. Plans – In writing (pencil, not ink)
At the end of the day I wonder what would he say if I asked, “God did I meet all your expectations today?” You know what? I think God would cut me some slack. I think he would remind me that he doesn’t love me any less if I didn’t check off the little boxes on my list. God gives us a pattern to follow that has no little boxes. His pattern is relationships, attitudes, kindness, forgiveness, helpfulness, listening. Those are things that don’t fit on a checklist.
What are your thoughts? Last year as I was contemplating my assumed lack of progress, I somehow came across this verse that has become one of my favorites.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty warrior who saves. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
You see, you can work hard or coast; make the most of every moment or waste minutes. God delights in you with gladness. God rejoices over you with joyful songs. Anyone who sings over you, is not holding a grudge, is not angry, is not waiting to catch you off guard and pour on the guilt. He rejoices over you with joyful songs – no strings attached.
God wants obedience and doesn’t want you to give up. He wants you to know you can start over right now. God wants what’s best for you and that is believing him, trusting him, and loving him back because he loved you first. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He expects us to stay faithful and not give up. He is a God of new beginnings.
Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. Jude 1:2