When My Agenda Gets in the Way

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I am a list maker. Post-it notes make me happy. Keeping up with appointments, events, and projects that need to be done in my planner helps me to stay focused. As I accomplish each task or complete a project, it feels amazing to check it off my list or calendar. Feeling productive helps clear my mind of all the clutter life can throw my way.

When I start to backslide on my to do list, my mind gets overwhelmed. Instead of tackling the next item, I start to let the number of items slowly increase causing me to feel burdened and weighed down, which leads to me avoiding the list all together. Procrastination kicks in and it is not my friend.

It is interesting in how we were all created differently. Some thrive in the chaos and freedom of no lists or schedules. They feel imprisoned when it comes to being structured and disciplined. The thing is that sometimes it comes down to our personalities and perspectives. What I may see as irresponsible actions in my life, others engage in that behavior because they are more creative and free. It suits their life and purpose. Some thrive in chaos, but I find my calm in routine and schedules. Keeping my life on track by notes or lists just helps me move forward in a positive state and no doubt it gives me a sense of control.

 I have learned that if I am not careful, this list making habit will roll over into my spiritual life. I start to make a mental checklist of actions that I feel like I should do to be a better Christian and to draw closer to God.

Go to church on Sundays. Check.

Read my daily devotion. Check.

Say my prayers. Check.

Listen to worship songs. Check.

Tithe to the church. Check.

Study the Bible more. Check….well half a check, I need to improve in this area for sure.

I am learning that I over complicate what God wants from me. God created the universe with design and order, and sometimes I can let the order and routines in my life become my focus. It then takes away from the place of genuine fellowship with God.

He simply wants me. He simply wants you. We do not have to do any polishing or cleaning up. We can approach him as we are. In our mess. In our struggles. Even in our disbelief at times. In our anger or our sadness. He sees it all anyway. You and I cannot hide anything from our Creator. But the thing is, he doesn’t want us to. As unpolished & imperfect as I am, He gave his life for me. He wants a relationship with me and with you. I hope you know that he gave his life for you, so that you could truly live in freedom with Him.

He says to come as you are. Bring your baggage. Bring your burdens. Bring your junk.

Yes, He has called us to go out and serve and let our lights shine for His glory, but more than anything, He just wants you and me to just be present with Him. That can mean a variety of things to different people. I feel closest to Him when I am out in His creation. The peace and solitude of nature calms my weary soul from the current chaos in my life, and I can just take a breath and just be in the moment, with my mind on God. I don’t even have to utter words. He sees what is on my heart. It is in those moments that I feel closer to Him. I don’t have to travel far either, it can be just stepping out my front door in the early morning to a new day. Seeing the colors of the sunrise. Hearing the birds sing praises to their creator. Seeing the trees and flowers starting to wake up after being dormant during the winter months. Where do you feel His presence and peace the most?

Now your moments may seem somewhat differently than mine and that is okay. We were each created with a unique set of traits and characteristics. We may worship, praise, and pray to God as differently as we look. We were all created with a God given purpose. Don’t get so caught up in checking off the boxes of what you think a Christian life should include that you miss the many opportunities to just “be present” with your Creator. He loves you and he longs to spend time with you. There is no to-do list that can be completed that is comparable to time spent with your heavenly Father.

Keep moving forward,

Hayley W

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