Monday, December 7, 2020

Tyranny of the To-Do List

This time of year can be overwhelming. We try to get Christmas shopping done early. We have extra responsibilities with work, school, family, church. And this year we have to reinvent so many traditional activities. It never feels like we get finished.

My to-do list feels like a constant nag, reminding me that there is more to do. I don't feel like I deserve to rest until everything is done. And it never is. So I feel guilty when I rest. 

Finally I realize that I will truly never finish my to-do list. Ever. There will always be another chore to do, obligation to fulfill, task to complete. (And I have to admit that there is genuine joy in accomplishing things.) But I miss out on so much joy because something else needs to be done.

I'm trying to reframe my thinking so that I can be comfortable with a never-ending list of responsibilities. I need to rest, at least one day out of seven. Yes, maybe I don't deserve to rest, but God is all about giving us what we don't deserve. It's called grace.

I think about the people I know who really live in the joy of Christ. They are fun to be around. They are encouraging. They laugh a lot. They see the best in me and in circumstances. And...they have things that they haven't yet done. They don't let their responsibilities steal their joy. And most of them seem like productive people, not burdened people.

That's how I want to be when I grow up.