From time to time, I will have one of those days - and maybe you will as well: I will begin the day with a to-do list with only about 4 items on it, and of course Item 1 is the most pressing and most important. So I start off with the best intentions, but quickly convince myself that in order to do Item 1 I will first need to (fill in the blank: make coffee, get a new cartridge for the printer, look up an address, reconcile my bank account, wash the car...you get it).
And it's amazing what I can accomplish! Clean cars, bank account balance known to the penny, a dozen emails responded to and sent out -- and then the first thing I need to do tomorrow is Item 1 from today.
When I am in balance I am good about striking that first item off the list in a appropriate time. But when things are catawampus or I am sleep deprived or when (telling the truth) I REALLY don't want to do it, well, I will do everything but.
Psychologists and those of that tribe will tell us many ways to overcome this problem: to break Item 1 into bite sized portions; to schedule something fun and rewarding for myself after I accomplish Item 1; to set a timer and give myself a break in the midst of Item 1.
That might work if Item 1 is a singular situation. But often our Item 1 is something that is critical to our everyday life, like spending time in prayer, or reading Scripture, or doing one small act of kindness that will be anonymous. So, if that's the case, I propose this:
let's strike Item 1 from our to-do list.
Certainly our daily list of things to be accomplished does not include brushing our teeth, or taking a shower, or putting on our clothes for the day. An Item 1 is never combing our hair, or eating a meal, or hugging our child or partner. So why not change the designation? Shouldn't our relationship with God be moved from the to-do list to our daily regimen for health and well being?
I think so. (Though I imagine now the car won't get washed quite as often............... )
*I don't really imagine any of you will actually look up the article, but in case someone out there is interested: "How To Get Things Done" by Robert Benchley. Originally published in "The New Yorker" sometime in the early 1930's. It is quite dated, but I still find it amusing. And terrifically true.