Jen’s Gem: You don’t have to go through your day alone. Ask God for help.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Man makes plans and God laughs”. At first glance, this might bring a little smile to your face but upon further reflection, it takes on a whole new meaning.
I don’t think the author of this quote meant to imply that God is making fun of us as we go about making our plans for the day, week or even longer. That’s not who God is. He does not make fun of His kids. However, I do think that He gets a little chuckle when He sees us planning the minutia of our lives thinking it will be ordered and completed just as we wish.
Let’s face it – we live in a world of to-do lists. We worship these lists. We boast of how many things are on our lists, how busy we are and sadly how busy our children are. So busy in fact that we’ve no time for self-care, spending time with our loved ones or God for that matter. We think that by staying busy, we are productive. We are filled with a sense of accomplishment at each task’s completion.
Honestly, I’m guilty of it too. There’s nothing better than seeing my list of tasks with lines through them after they’ve been completed. Woo eee – does that feed my goal-oriented self! These tasks can range from scheduled appointments to housework to freelance assignments to errands. The more the merrier! Like Santa Claus, I check the list and then check it twice to be sure it has everything. For someone with no artistic ability, my to-do list is a work of art.
The problem? Well, there are a few but here are the ones that are most obvious:
- There are way too many things on my list.
- The items are sometimes impractical, even impossible for me to do on my own.
- I developed the list without consulting God first.
You may be thinking, uh…Jen…why do you need to bother God with your to-do list? Doesn’t He have more important things to do? My response would be a resounding – Yes! He sure does, Just turn on the news and see how busy He is.
But guess what? While the goings-on of the world are important to God, I’m important too. He is well aware that as a single mom of two teenagers that my to-do list is already too long. He knows that my energy levels are not what they used to be. He knows of my many sleep-deprived nights.
In short, my to-do list matters to God because I matter to Him. As my relationship with Him grows stronger, I’m seeing the fruits of involving Him in every area of my life and that includes the mundane to-do list.
How to Get Through Your To-Do List
So how do I involve God in my daily tasks? Simple.
- During my morning prayer time, I mentally review my list with God for the day and ask if these are the best things for me to do that day.
- Next, I create my list based upon what I’ve heard.
- I put all of these items into my planner with assigned times. (I’m old school. No Google calendar for me!)
- Lastly, I ask God to help me complete it and to bless me along my way.
This simple exercise has resulted in huge productivity increases and much less stressful days. I’ve personally seen God bend time for me so that I could get my work done. I’ve also seen Him re-arrange my day which allowed for some much needed self-care. (Not a particular strength of mine.)
Why does it work? I believe that God wants us to be productive but not overworked. There’s no balance in that. Meghan Trainor may be all about the bass, but God is all about the balance.
Secondly, He wants to be involved in my life in every way. Think about it – who of your friends would turn down a request for help from you? They’d jump at the chance – especially if it meant they could spend more time with you.
God is no different. He’s that friend you can call on when you need to be in three places at once. He’s the friend who will miraculously inspire your kids to put dinner on the table. He’s the friend who will re-arrange people, places and things to make your life less stressful.
In short, you’ve got a friend in God. And what’s more – He’s willing to help with your to-do list. Ask for His help, get that to-do list ready and both you and God can laugh about how simple it was.