Today is an amazing day, full of opportunities to grow, to give, and to experience God and His goodness. I don’t want to waste one precious moment of it. I imagine you don’t want to waste it either. After all, we’ll never get to live this day over.

One tool that helps me stay on track on days like this is my to-do list. I love to-do lists (or any list, for that matter). I always have. Crossing off an item on my list makes me feel accomplished and that I’m getting things done. It also helps me waste less time.

to-do list :: a list of things that one wants to get done or that need to get done

Are you a to-do list person like me? What items do you tend to put on it? How does it help you?

So, what's on your to-do list?

Yesterday I had a great to-do list.

On it were three morning appointments, errands, and many items to complete at home. I left the house early for my appointments, all scheduled before 11 a.m… hair, dentist, and chiropractor. It felt great to begin the day with a purpose and a plan.

Thankfully, all three appointments went well and were on time. I even had minutes to spare to run my errands in between. In talking to my friend on the phone on my way home, I felt accomplished as I shared with her all I completed before 11. So many items were checked off my list! It was a great feeling and I was midway through a great day!

When I walked in the door at home, however, I found my favorite baseball team was on our t.v. screen. The St. Louis Cardinals’ game was midday instead of evening. So, I did what any Cardinals fan would do. I set my purse and paperwork down on the table and plopped myself in the recliner.

Who can resist watching a Cardinals’ game?

Especially with her son? Not me. And that’s where I sat for the next two hours. Enjoying the Redbirds and time with Zach.

But, I had way too much on my to-do list to be sitting and watching a game in the middle of my day. That’s just plain crazy. I mean, how would I get everything done just sitting there?

For a few moments I felt twinges of guilt. I felt I should get up, tackle my list and forego the game. But, the reality of that moment kept me there. The day will come when I won’t get the opportunity to watch the Redbirds in our living room with my 22-year old son. Who still is okay with hanging out with his mom, by the way. One day these priceless moments will be no longer. Only a precious memory they will be.

So, I stayed put and let the guilty feelings subside. Yes, I threw a load of laundry in between innings, and I slipped outside for a moment or two during one at-bat. But, I soaked in those Cardinals-game moments with my son.

Sometimes the most important thing we can do in a day isn’t on our to-do lists.

Sometimes it’s what’s in front of us–that person, that need, that situation–that’s most important. It might be the unexpected phone call or the last-minute lunch invitation. And, sometimes what’s on the list can wait until tomorrow. My uncompleted items on yesterday’s list were moved to today.

May we not be so focused on our to-do list that we miss the gift in front of us.

[Tweet “May we not be so focused on our to-to list that we miss the gift in front of us.”

So, when should we follow the list or veer off of it?

Questions to ask ourselves:

  • The list will always be there, but will this moment?
  • Is what’s on my list of eternal significance or is this moment?
  • What will I remember most, my list or this moment?
  • What will last, what I get done today or the influence of this moment I’m in?

Give yourself permission to take a detour off your list today. Look for the unexpected gifts in front of you and be willing to experience them fully. That may just be the most important thing in your day today.

Friend, whatever is on our to-do lists today, let’s hold them loosely. Let’s be open to whatever God might have us do, instead. I’d love to read your thoughts on this below!

God bless you, friend!

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