The To-Do List

What do the words to-do list mean to you? Do you look at it and run away screaming? Are you OCD and write down everything you have to do? Do you have a daily list that you make the night before? Maybe you just have a grocery list and that's as far as lists mean to you?

I find to-do lists ironic because it is rare, at least for myself, that I accomplish everything that is on it. No one knows how their day is going to go. A million and one things can come up that require your attention and should be tackled. You must know the phrase: "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."

To-do lists are all well and good if they help us remember things and focus our day so we are productive, but we can get carried away with them too and reproach ourselves for leaving lists undone and not accomplishing everything. 

"God doesn't require that we be successful, only that we be faithful," in the words of St. Mother Teresa. This means that we shouldn't make our life an endless list. We should be open to the day-to-day moments that will never make our actual list. That is what makes life . . . well, life.

I admit, I'm a big list person because I like organization and order, but they can take control of our lives in a bad way, where we feel like we are slaves of our own goals. It's okay if something is unfinished, as long as it isn't a symptom of laziness. Productivity should mean to us that we seek God in each moment--otherwise everything is just a waste of time anyway.

Put at the top of your to-do list: become a saint. Then everything else will follow.