To Do Lists

It’s a cool day in Sheridan, Wyoming.  A gentle breeze is blowing.  The sky is misty grey.  All around I see the budding of green plants and the green, green grass’s radiating beauty.  Spring is in the air…so are “To Do” lists.

That’s one of the things I have done this week, make “To Do” lists.  I do that regularly. I need to.  It seems that my steel-trap mind that used to forget little now moves from one distraction to another so quickly that I forget the urgent item I knew, just one moment ago, had to be done.  So, I write things down.  “To Do” lists.

Every Sunday night and Monday morning I begin making my list:

Ask Terri is she needs anything done

Do the bills

Mow the lawn

Sweep the garage

Do whatever Terri asks

Take bottles to recycling

Get essentials at the store

Do what Terri wants

The “To Do” list grows and grows. 

This week I have been doing the same thing at church.  We have hired a new maintenance person.  It has been a while since the position has been filled.  We have some catching up to do.  My friend, Doug, chair of our Properties Committee, has a keen eye for such things and if the truth be known, he has kept the church on track during the hiring vacancy.  Together we have begun putting together a “To Do” list.  What do we need to do to get up to speed, especially at the onset of Spring?  What do we need to begin to plan so we can stay on task?  What are some of the things that need to be done but can wait until there is some down-time?  What are the long-range jobs for which we need to begin to prepare?  “To Do” lists.

In the next 5 weeks we will have celebrated both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  There is a movement in our time to create one “Parent’s Day” to simplify such celebrations.  My parents had “To Do” lists.  The ones I remember most came from my Dad.  Every Saturday morning it emerged.  8 AM to 12 Noon we had our chores.  Do this.  Do that.  Hard labor.  “Isn’t this what prisoners do?”  And then there was the job list with each person in the family assigned tasks.  We were family.  Everyone contributes.  “To Do” lists.

Well, at First Presbyterian we are coming down the home stretch on our Six-Week study on Holy Spirit.  It has been exciting.  I have sensed we have grown to know Holy Spirit better and have become increasingly sensitive to Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives as well as the work Holy Spirit does.  I wonder, “Does Holy Spirit have a ‘To Do’ list for the life of Paul Hayden?”  We have learned that Jesus knew we would need Holy Spirit (John 16:7).  We know Holy Spirit is to remind us of what Jesus said (John 15:26).  We know that Holy Spirit gives us gifts to be used to make the Body of Christ the best it can be (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).  We know it is Holy Spirit that develops godly character in us (Galatians 5:22-23).  What is Holy Spirit’s “To Do” list for my life? 

I can’t answer that question (maybe all of the above).  It is a learn as you go type of proposition.  I can say this much:  Out of my love for Terri, when she asks me to do something I write it down and do it because I love her.  Out of my love for the church, when I see something that needs to be done I make note of it so it can be addressed.  Out of respect for my parents I did what I was assigned, even though it was often because I loved getting the reward at the end of the “To Do” list or the allowance that had been promised me. 

The same is true with Holy Spirit.  Whether it is out of love, out of respect, or with a desire to receive the promised benefits, I grow best when I work hand in hand with Holy Spirit as Holy Spirit does the work in me.   The good news is that the work Holy Spirit does is to grow us to be more like Jesus, God’s only son and our Savior and Lord. 

I guess that is the #1 item on Holy Spirit’s “To Do” list: “Grow Paul to be more like Jesus.”



  • Cheryl Stewart

    Be patient with me, God is still working with me…

  • Jeri Joy

    To do lists are good to remember important things as long as He is first on it!!! I’m getting to the point where I get a little cranky when I don’t get that part of my list done!!! And things don’t go as great!!!

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