How to Get Things Done…Or Not (But be at peace about it)

“But when I finally had the time to prayerfully prioritize my approach to each day, it was so much easier to keep my life in balance. I could finally say with a shrug:

“Well, Lord, I guess that long list of things I didn’t do today isn’t that important. You could have either given me more time or put those things at the top of the list if they mattered in your plan, but since you didn’t, I’ll forget about them for tonight and go read a book in bed.”

^^If these words from Jennifer Fulwiller’s blog aren’t meant for me, then you can call me crazy. I mentioned recently how I’m feeling called to simplicity, but I’ve been struggling with how to do that. How do scale back, when the 5,937 things on my list seem really important. After all, this first week of Lent? Fail. Can you say “two chiro appointments, lunch date with wives at my house, baking cookies and 10lb potatoes for fish fry at church, baby shower…” Yup, all that has been on my list for this week. Also, add in the normal things, such as school, feeding the family (they are always hungry), trying to workout, … … You get the idea. The whole simplicity thing? Not really becoming reality here. Yet.

But I am committed to it!

And now I know what I need to do to make it happen.

I need to pray, and pray about how to prioritize my day. Chances are, God has a good idea of what is the most important thing I need to check off on the ol’ to-do list. Chances are, if I open up my ears for half a second, I’ll get a glimpse of the simplicity He is calling me to, know what to tackle first, and I’ll find peace.

Ah, peace. That elusive thing I yearn for…

Quiet time with The Best Love, Jesus

 

But sitting in prayer, especially when I have a chance to be *this close* to Jesus in church, does bring me peace. Last night, I stopped in for a few brief minutes after dropping off my Little Man for children’s choir practice, and the message was this: “Relax. It will get done.” Great! Relax!! I am all for relaxing. But “it”…what is “it” that will get done, that maybe I need to put some attention to? That “it” is a bit of a mystery to me, but I put my trust in God that “it” will get done, and “it” will be what is most important. For now, I keep putting my days’ goals and plans in His hands, and trust that what matters most is what draws my attention and energies.

For example, I posted about all my plans for Lent. Ask me how many we are slacking on (er…prioritizing differently), and I will tell you “it depends on the day”. We are praying for a different person daily, and we are adding food to our donation box. This week we will do Stations of the Cross, if not at our parish then in our home. We’ve read the daily devotions about 3 or 4 times. My kids are keeping up with their personal sacrifices very well. Overall, so far, “it” is getting done. Knowing that God knows our hearts and intentions, I pray He’s also gently molding us more into His image each day.

I know I need to relax more in order to simplify. That probably is going to mean focusing on the task in front of me and getting it done to the best of my current ability before stressing about the next 53 things on the to-do list. After all, if God Himself took His time creating the world and bringing about His plans of salvation in Christ, how much more should I take my time about my daily tasks? God could have just snapped His figurative fingers and all of creation could have suddenly existed, yet He took days to complete it. I can’t snap my fingers well, nor twitch my nose like Samantha from the old show “Bewitched”. I can only give my best to one thing at a time, and relax.

And so I will. Now that I have given my best to this post (after a week), I am hitting post, and moving to the next thing on my list.

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4 thoughts on “How to Get Things Done…Or Not (But be at peace about it)

  1. This is a really compelling entry. I also struggle with waiting until things seem perfect to “pull the trigger.” Maybe I just need to relax into it a little bit and trust that everything will work out in the end.

    • It is hard to relax, I’ll admit. Everything seems so important. But, I have found that my days are more peaceful when I let go of that “need” to get it all done and focus on what is most important.

  2. What you said about focusing on the task in front of us so resonates. It’s all the Lord asks of us… sometimes I think the evil one feeds on our insecurities and is behind that feeling of hopelessness of finishing those to-do lists. As long as loving God with all our heart and soul and being… and loving our neighbor as ourselves… are on the list each day, we accomplish more than we know!

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