Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finish This

To finish something is to see it through to its completion. There are some days when I find myself doing several projects at the same time. The problem with this is that it makes it difficult to finish any of them. It can make my life crazy! At some of point I have to stop myself, and focus on one project, and tell myself to finish this before I move on to the next one.

Jesus had an important task when He came to this earth. The task was to live among us, to show us how to live and to love, and ultimately to die for our sins so that through Him we might have eternal life; through Him we could be reconciled to God! In the Gospel of John, chapter 19 Jesus is on the cross, He has had a conversation with the two criminals on either side of Him, He leads one to salvation, and then in verse 30 He says these words: “It is finished.” Jesus had finished what He had come to do, and now it was time to die!

How nice it is when we finish something. I love checking it off my “to do” list. There is a great sense of accomplishment when things get done. How much more so when we know that we are doing what God is calling us to do. I love to sense where God is leading me, go in that direction, and follow it through to completion. I pray that at the end of my life, I will be able to feel like I have accomplished what God has created me to do, and I will be able to say “It is finished.’ How about you?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Lost My List

Have you ever had a day where you didn’t feel like you were getting anything done? The truth is, you are probably getting some things done, but not necessarily the most important tasks. Or, you aren’t fully aware of what you have been getting done, because what you are getting done isn’t what you had planned on doing, but rather tasks that have popped up at the moment.

A number of years ago I went to a time management seminar, and one of the tips they gave was to make a list of what you need to do each day. However, having the list isn’t enough, you need to make sure you prioritize it from the most important tasks to the least. That way you will be making sure you get the important tasks done first, and if you run out of time, the less important ones can be moved to the next day. Another great thing about having a list is that as you get work done, it is encouraging to cross it off the list, which gives you a sense of accomplishment.

There is a challenge to this, however, in that you can get too dependent on your list. What happens if you lose your list? I know that if I get too dependent on my list, that if I lose it, I lose track of what I am supposed to be doing. SO, I need to be careful that I don’t let my list completely govern my life. I need to make sure that my list doesn’t trap me into being inflexible in my life.

Sometimes I get so into my list, that an interruption can cause me to be frustrated. This is not good, since the primary concern of my job, and really my life, should be the people God brings into my life, and not all the tasks I feel I have to get done. This reminds me of the story of the Good Samaritan (in Luke chapter 10). In this story, a man is beaten and robbed and left for dead. A priest and a Levite both pass by, probably thinking they didn’t want to be interrupted or get involved or be bothered with this man’s troubles, so they passed by on the other side and did nothing to help. But then a Samaritan came and attended to the man, and took him to an inn, and paid for it all!

Sometimes it might be good for me to ‘lose my list’ so that I get done what is most important (not necessarily most pressing). Sometimes it would be good to ‘lose my list’ so that I would be more available to the leading of God’s Spirit in my life. Sometimes I might need to ‘lose my list’ so that I don’t get too caught up in the “have to’s” of life. How about you, would it be good to lose your list? Blessings.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Priority Mail

Priority mail is mail that is expedited to a two-day delivery service by the U.S. Postal Service. It is for mail that would otherwise go out first class. You choose priority mail, even though it costs more, because you believe that it is important for this mail to get to its destination in an “expedited” manner. This is a great service, especially if you are on a deadline and need your letter there quickly. In this case, you decide it is worth the extra cost to ensure that you will not be embarassed by missing your deadline.

As a recipient, when you get priority mail, you know that it is important. Because of this, you probably open the priority mail before any other mail. It is mail that you need to deal with quickly. Hence the name ‘priority.’ It is sent in a speedy manner so that the one it is being sent to can get it as quickly as possible (although there is now overnight mail as well).

I found it interesting that our blog group would pick this topic, and it was probably chosen to challenge us in our thought process. I also found it interesting because so many people don’t use the mail serviice much anymore with the invention of the internet. I rarely send a hand written letter out, especially if I know the person has e-mail. It is quicker and more convenient.

As I thought about this topic, it took me to an illustration I had heard in our Alpha Class (Bible basics class). The illustration is that the Bible is like a “love letter” from God. Imagine that you were to get a letter from someone that was very near and dear to your heart. You wouldn’t set that letter aside to read days later, but rather you would open it right away to read what thoughts they had put down on the letter. You would try to take it all in, and maybe even read the letter 2 or 3 times. On top of that, you would probably keep the letter for possibly reading another time, or for remembering the words they wrote for you alone.

The correlation here is that because the Bible is God’s love letter to us, it is like getting ‘priority mail.’ It is something that is important, and something we need to get to right away. We shouldn’t put it off, or set it aside for a future day. It is sent to us as a “priority” for our lives, and should be responded to as a priority. We should act as though there were a deadline for us to act upon it, since in reality there is a deadline. Every day that we fail to read and apply the Bible, is another day that we fail to set aside our sinful ways and live for God. Every day that we fail to acknowledge that God’s word should guide us, is another day that we fail to humble ourselves and let God be our counselor and guide.

SO, I encourage you to see your Bible as “priority mail,” and go right over to it now to read. Have a great day!