Abandoning My To-Do List

As a former Administrative Assistant, I enjoy my to-do lists. Checking off those little boxes makes me feel like I accomplished something today. I often like to cross things off my list, so I have a sense of truly conquering that task.

But, a couple of weeks ago, God convicted me about my to-do list.

First of all, it was too long. Unattainable. There was no way I was going to get everything done on my list in one day.

Second of all, my priorities were all out of order. God should be first no matter what, but truthfully, I was stuffing Him into my schedule whenever and wherever I had room. I would get into my car, late to work, after rushing from bed to front door, and realize that I didn’t even think of God in the morning.

Finally, even though I thought accomplish tasks would make me feel, well, accomplished, it made me feel empty. I believed having a busy schedule meant I was important or that my life had purpose, but it made me feel more insignificant and meaningless than ever. Was my life really all about what fit on a small piece of paper?

So, God called me to do something about my to-do list.

He called me to throw it away.

For a type-A perfectionist, that is the scariest thing you could ask me to do. Get rid of my to-do list? Run the risk of leaving tasks undone? Gulp Give up CONTROL? Why would I do that?

Well, of course I would do that. God is in control, and even if I thrive on control and perfectionism, I know I have to learn not to be perfect and not to have control. It’s hard, but I’d rather be in God’s will and not in control, than without God and left to my own devices.

But, I decided I was going to start with one day, and if it didn’t work out, I would go back to my to-do lists.

If you’re wondering how that day went: it’s been three weeks, and I haven’t stopped!

For the sake of those who may be considering letting God have control of your day, I’ll give you the details of how I saw God work. I started my first day reading the Bible and writing down what stuck out to me. Then, I would pray to God, that He would guide my day and make it clear where He wants me to go. Throughout the day, I would think about what I have to do, and I would remind myself that God is in control.

Because I trusted God, I learned about the power of provision, the blessing of community, and the joy of rest and dwelling in His presence. I made it to work on time (normally I don’t); had a focused, productive day at work; finished a freelance project I was working on; colored in my adult coloring book; dealt with a difficult person without totally freaking out but while maintaining my boundaries; and swallowed some sad news without stuffing my feelings or falling apart.

Nothing surprises God. My life is completely in His hands. He sees it all, and He knows. He’s in control.

Before I charge you to try this, I want to give you a quick crash course on how to hear from God. If you’re not familiar with the voice of God, you need to be careful not to mistake your own voice for the voice of God. Something may make sense to you, but it might not be God.

God does not contradict His Word. As you read His Word, you begin to understand His character and what He expects of His people. Although the Bible does not talk about cell phones and cars, it does talk about how to interact with others and how to honor God with our resources. As we study the Scriptures, we gain wisdom, and that wisdom can help us make decisions that honor God.

The Holy Spirit is our Wonderful Counselor. When we accept Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells within us and guides us. Please listen when you feel that tug in your heart going in one direction. I’ve found that if God gives us commands, and we don’t follow them, we drift further away from His voice, and His voice becomes muddled with the voices of those around us.

Knowing that letting God guide your day is both terrifying and healing, you should give it a try. If you’re scared to let go of control, just give God one day at a time. I promise you, your day may feel out of your control, but you’ll have more peace than ever.

Leave a comment if you tried this!


Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

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