Throw Away Your To-Do List

Throw Away Your To-Do List

A few years ago I went to visit a missionary friend of mine. He was having major impact in his community but I could never really understand his strategy for reaching people. I asked him, “So what exactly do you do every day?” He told me he’d show me in the morning.

We got up early and pulled out the tools for a construction project. But just as we started cutting the wood someone showed up and asked if we could help do some electrical wiring at a widow’s house. We hopped in the truck and spent most of the morning working on the project.

After lunch we got started cutting wood again, but another guy arrived and asked if we could pray for a family member who was dying. We went over and prayed for the fellow, then spent a few minutes consoling the family.

We got back and started to work again, but a young adult came by and wanted some advice on something or other. At this point I was starting to get really frustrated. How the heck does he get anything done around here? 

The rest of the day was filled with little distractions. That night I commented about how little had gotten done today and said, “Maybe tomorrow you can show me what you do.”

He laughed. “Dude, you already saw it. That’s what I do. My ministry is distractions.”

I’ll never forget that response. It led me to a shift in my goal-oriented mindset. How much time do I spend working on projects I think will really be good, while God is bringing what he really wants me doing right to my door? It seems like that’s how Jesus rolled. He just lived his life watching for where God was working and then got involved where God was at work.

I have to remember that lesson every morning when I make my list for the day. I have to make sure I leave space in my plan for God’s plan. I have to be ready to deviate from the plan if God throws a divine distraction my way. Sure, it’s wise to have a plan. And not all distractions are divine, you have to use discernment. But I believe that God knows what he’s doing. He gets it right every time. If he has a different plan for me than I have for myself, I want that plan.

Stay alert for what God is doing around you and always be willing to change the plan when God shows up.

But Jesus answered them, “My Father is always working, and I am working.” (John 5:17)