Friday, June 21

Does God Have "To Do" Lists?

The past few weeks have been frustrating. For every item I am able to cross off on my "To Do" list, 2-3 more are added. Calls needing to be made, reports overdue, projects awaiting attention, documents needing translation, individuals needing counseling, materials needing to be reworked, follow-up visits that should have been taken care of weeks ago, banking and financial matters needing attention yesterday, etc.

In the past fourteen days, I have only been able to cross off fourteen items total out of 40+ things needing attention yesterday. That averages to one item accomplished per day!

Why am I getting so little accomplished these days? I can answer that with one word. INTERRUPTIONS. And what is the definition of interruptions? PEOPLE!

People calling. People needing help. People asking favors. People dropping by the house. Endless correspondence where you respond to an email and there are two more that pop up in the inbox while answering! Night and day, it never lets up. When is one supposed to get around to doing "our stuff" when everybody else's stuff is taking up all our time?


What if God also has "to do" lists? What if God has on his list today for Juán to call me and see about our getting together for coffee at 2:15 this afternoon and talk about his problems?

When I seriously pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done..." am I not in effect saying, "Lord, your "to do" list has priority. Your agenda today takes precedence over my own." While meeting Juán at 2:15 may not be on my list, I would be foolish to blow off meeting Juan at 2:15 if he is on God's list.

I am reminded of a Mark Batterson quote I once came across,
One of my mottos is "ministry happens." I think that at least 90% of the ministry that happens in the gospels is spontaneous. Jesus was headed from one place to another and an opportunity would present itself. Jesus was willing to get off the beaten path and take the road less traveled. He didn't see them as detours or dead ends. Too often we mistake human interruptions for divine appointments. --from a Mark Batterson message entitled "Wild Goose Chase."
For people like myself who are geared toward intentional ministry and "to do" lists, the above thought is a needed reminder. Am I too busy to take time for someone interrupting "my ministry?" Am I so geared towards that 10% intentional ministry that I overlook the 90% God sets in my path daily?


Anonymous said...

Excellent post! We do need to remember why we do what we do. I'm now on the "administrative" end of missions. And when I get frustrated with the endless phone calls, emails, and problems....I remind myself that my work helps to get planters and missionaries on the field in some areas that have great spiritual needs. And their perseverence with the "problem" paperwork, will assist them in the days ahead when "interruptions" happen.
Hang in there! D. Reece

J. Guy Muse said...


Thanks for stopping by. We very much appreciate all those like yourself who serve us in so many ways. You make it possible for the rest of us to "have time" for all those who interrupt us! :)

Milton Lites said...

Good reminders of what God calls us to do. He does have a "to do" list, and if we listen, read His word, and follow His leading, we will accomplish great things for Him. Not because we are great, but because HE is great.

J. Guy Muse said...

Milton, easier said than done, but you are exactly right!