Does a thought every hit you and it just won’t leave your head? That happened to me when I woke up this morning – and it won’t leave my head because now it’s on my list.
That’s what I want to talk about – because – well, let me tell you.
A few years ago, I was really struggling with my purpose. I don’t want to bore you with all the years of introspection, self help books, and career counseling I went through to answer the simple question, “Why am I here?” I could go through a litany of ideas: corporate trainer, book author, professional blogger, social media diva – The truth is, my purpose is not one of those things. God showed me that my purpose is simply to do what he wants me to do every day. My purpose has nothing to do with what to be, but has everything to do with being what he calls me to be in the moment.
God calls some people to be ‘something’ he called me to just be. And now you know why I write about the craziness of lists. Maybe God has called you to be ‘something’, but what if he called you to love him and serve him in the moment? Our lives, no matter what, are never a straight line. Life is like tangled threads.
I like to think of life as a huge tapestry that God looks down on from his place in heaven. He sees the pattern, even the flaws where there are human errors, but he keeps weaving the threads anyway. We, who are the threads, see the process of the pattern. Doesn’t it look like a tangled mess at times?
I remember writing in my journal one day. I was asking God what he envisioned for my life. I had recently been in an accident an nearly died. God chose to spare my life. That’s a pretty clear indication that he isn’t finished with me yet. After writing and hashing through a menagerie of my own thoughts, I asked, “What is your plan for me?” I didn’t hear an audible voice or anything, but I felt it. “Be you. I made you with the personality you don’t appreciate and gifts you think are not valuable. Use your attitude, talents, personality and gifts to encourage people who need to know they matter.”
My little part of the tapestry, my purpose, is to encourage people. I don’t want to mess that up because that would put a serious flaw in the pattern. My lists are all based on having a PEACEful heart. Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” If you’re curious, this is how my lists materialize to be purposeful and have a peaceful heart.
P – Pray – and have quiet time with the Lord. I pray and also write out my prayers to God and read his instruction manual, the Bible as well as a devotional.
E – Exercise – I don’t want my family to have to take care of me because I didn’t take care of myself when I had the chance. I have a reminder and I have another friend who won’t let me forget.
A – Accountability – I write on my list what I will be accountable for that day. A project, task, or appointment – and I often ask a friend to pray about this with me and hold me accountable because even though I am accountable to God first, it helps to have a coach.
C – Commitments – These are work I have promised to do for someone. It might be client work or it might be to take a meal to someone, visit a person who needs to be cheered up, during school season child care on Wednesday morning, or on specific Sundays help out in children’s church. God expects me to keep commitments. I write them down.
E – Encourage – In some way, every day, encourage someone. Write a card, send an email, give of my time to cheer someone up, use my words to bring joy to others. If I see someone without a smile, I share mine. Simple act, but sometimes I need to see that on my list to remember to be diligent about it.
So now you might understand my obsessions with lists that never end. We are all creating the tapestry that is life. God created us to be unique and recognize that we have value while we live our purpose. I don’t know your method or how you live your purpose, but I need a list so I don’t forget.