Lists…lists….lists….oh my!


I’ve come to sort of hate lists. Yes, I know they are necessary. Yes, it’s a great way to organize, etc., etc., etc. But they remind me so clearly about what I am NOT able to do much more than what I am able to do.

I find that being responsible for something with a deadline (a sermon, an article, a chore) is utterly exhausting. It’s difficult to explain. And as one of our commentators noted, there is this blurry line beween what you can’t do and what you don’t want to do.

The real trick, of course, is first of all making the distinction, second prioritizing, and third being at peace with whatever you are not able to do. For someone with some serious OCD tendencies (not to mention Super-Pastor Syndrome), the concept of making a list and then saying “I can’t do this” is utterly foreign to me.

But I can’t. It’s just not there. I go until I turn into a zombie. Find myself staring at a wall or a tree or something. Stuff keep going by and there isn’t a thing I can do about it. I am trapped in my own mind.

Now I would like it better if there was some sort of “take two bible passages and call me in the morning” answer to this. Be joyful in the Lord! Pray the daily office! Go to confession! I look at a passage like Isaiah 40 and wonder:

But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV)

Notice in here the future tense. They shall. They shall. They shall. They shall. It will happen. But we know not when. At least not precisely.

So it comes back to hope once again. Hope in what you cannot see, in what you cannot feel or know with your mind. But that is the essence of faith. Hope in the Lord will never dissapoint. Healing will come. Things will be better in time and certainly in eternity in Christ Jesus. And there we find hope.

So the lists go on. I look at them, do what I can, and rest in Christ, knowing that God will take care of what I cannot.


5 thoughts on “Lists…lists….lists….oh my!”

  1. LOL. My WIFE is the master of lists. Usually I appreciate it; at times it drives me batty. But she always has a list going.

    I have to confess, though, that I’ve come to see it as the key to her own efficiency and I’ve started using them sometimes. I usually start a “to do list” for the week and it does feel good to cross off stuff. If there gets to be too much stuff that I’m NOT crossing off, I just delete the list and don’t thinnk about it any more. How’s that for a constructive approach? : )

  2. There is so much that you say which is familiar to me. I used to LOVE lists. Lived by lists. And I still do make them or else my diminished concentration would never remember anything. They are more reminders now than actual “to-do” lists.

    Because I went through several years where I was so overwhelmed that I barely functioned – and there was a continual, unceasing mental “to-do” list running through my head. I would lay awake at night, unable to shut it off. Go through my day, unable to shut it off. To grit my teeth and do ONE thing from the list was a huge victory.

    Especially at that time, I found that which I needed the most was the most difficult. I’m not a pastor, but for me actually going to church was just too much. Thankfully, I had a pastor and friends who would not accept any of my “reasons” when I wasn’t there. I often went purely out of duty, but it was good for me, and fed me.

    I would encourage you when you say that praying is only “going through the motions.” Going through the motions has value – God gives His gracious gifts and answers the prayers of all His children.
    From the intro to LW – “Saying back to Him what He has said to us, we repeat what is most true and sure.” Praying is not a duty or requirement – God knows our needs without prayer – we are the ones who benefit, even when we’re really not up for it.

    I know that I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but like those who encouraged me when I would have separated myself from the gifts I so desperately needed, I would encourage you to go through the motions, even when you are sure you can’t.

  3. Green — because that is the html code for the template you are using. You can get around this by
    1. selecting the “template” tab when you log into your account.
    2. copy the text of the html code and paste into a web page creator such as front page or any other
    3. change the page as you would like
    4. recopy the text of the html code from your editor
    5. paste this into the “template” box under blogger and upload.

    Or if you know a little about html you can change the color code in the text of the html itself. Color codes can be found by doing a good search.

    On a different topic — truly appreciate your sight. My wife was recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder — which explains a lot of her behavior the past years. But I had my own share of issues and codependency to work through. It all fell in my lap recently and was almost more than could be handled, but some friends and professionals got me through and we are both learning more about how to respond. I also think your friends are right about the anonymity of the sight. God’s people are not always kind or fair with their shepherds and our leaders are too often politicians rather than being shepherds themselves.

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