My wife has spent much of our married life trying to help me get organized. She is, by both nature and gifting, a very organized person. I’m mean, she could organize an explosion in a bolt factory. Organizing and keeping track of stuff is just something she has a gift for.
Me? Not so much. I’m too scatterbrained, I think. And so, lovingly, patiently, and over and over in our married lives, my wife has tried to help me focus on having an organized life. She organized my office. She’s organized the books in our library. I admire her ability to keep track of stuff.
And one of the things she utilizes to make sure she remembers stuff is … lists. She has countless little pieces of paper all over the house with notes like, ‘Light bulbs, sugar, kitty litter, and beets.’ (Yes, she buys the beets for me. I like beets.) She’s got long lists; short lists. Lists of things to do, places to go, things to pick up. She’s got one list affixed to the refrigerator door by a little magnet shaped like an ice cream cone. It’s a list she hopes I will read on occasion and respond to. It’s what some have called a ‘honey-do’ list. And I do pay attention to it. It helps me know what I haven’t done yet. (I think she wishes it were a check-off list of things I’ve already done.) I’d like to say that my wife’s habit of making lists has rubbed off on me, and I suppose to some degree it has. But I don’t keep many lists. I know if I did, it would help me stay on track with my life.
How about you? Are you a list-maker?
God is, you know. A list-maker, I mean. The other day, as I was reading in The Book, I noticed a list He’d taken pains to create in Ps. 37. Instructions He didn’t want us to forget; encouragements He wanted to make sure we would find, if we took the time to notice.
Here are some of the things on His list for us:
Do not fret. Do not be envious. Trust. Do good. Dwell in the land. Feed on God’s faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord. Commit your way to the Lord.
(I wonder how my life would be different if I read that list every day, and started checking things off?)
Here’s more: Rest in the Lord. Wait patiently. Do not fret (That’s the second time he mentioned that.) Wait on the Lord. Depart from evil. (How would my life change if I read that instruction so I wouldn’t forget it?) Mark the blameless man. Observe the upright. (In other words, don’t forget to pay attention to the godly ones around you. Observe how they do life, and follow their example.)
I don’t know if you are a keeper of lists. But I do know that what I write down … I can more easily keep track of. Of course, the fact that it’s written down on a list doesn’t mean I’m particularly paying attention. I can walk by my wife’s list on our refrigerator door a dozen times a day and not give it a minute’s notice. If I commit myself to doing things on her list, it makes her very happy.
But what about God’s list? If I commit myself to doing what’s on His list … it will make me very happy. The very best way to live a life is following His encouragement. How is it I can so easily forget that truth I wonder? I mean, He wrote it down on a list in His book, just to remind me.
You can’t beat that.