I have a confession. I am a list maker. For me there is great satisfaction in creating my daily to-do list and marking things off. I have to admit, there are times I have already completed a task but go ahead and put it on my list just to reinforce the feeling of accomplishment when I can mark it off. Sick mind, right? I will own that one.
This week I was challenged with a new thought about lists. I was participating in a training in which I was encouraged to create a life purpose statement. This statement was to be a summary of my mission--a phrase that should guide my decisions about all the various areas of my life. Whatever I chose as my mission guides how I live, how I love, how I work, and how I invest my time, money, and efforts.
I thought about it, wrote a few things on my list, scratched those off and thought a little more. I finally settled on one--one I have known since I was a little girl. My life purpose is to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind; and to love my neighbor as myself (Luke 10:27). That is my mission. It is what must drive every word that comes from my mouth, every action that I take, every thought that I have. Once I settled on my statement, it was time to reflect on how that statement impacts my family, my work, my friends, my budget, my service. It was then that my view on lists took a shift. I busily create To-Do lists each day, but what really deserves my time and attention is a To-BE list. What do I aspire To-BE each day? If I love God, how must I BE in my family, at my work, with my investments and gifts? If I love my neighbor, how must I BE when I see needs, how must I BE in how I interact with others?
Here is the a-ha for me. My TO-BE list is much more important than a To-do list. True joy comes from being able to mark off that list. So I am developing a new habit. My TO-BE list has to drive my to-do list. That is the way to accomplish my purpose.
So what is your mission? Do you have a to-do list driving you today? How about adding one more thing to it? To-Do: Create a TO-BE list. Let's check that box off together!