Monday, October 14, 2013

Checklists

"Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly."

Sometimes, I need a little motivation. It's easy to get stuck in a rut of doing the same things day in and day out. It's easy to live a life based on the "checklist mentality", subconsciously (or consciously, either way) getting tasks done without much thought behind them or time spent processing your actions and beliefs. It's easy to have surface level relationships with people, to always work for another day, to ignore the blessings that exist in your life right now. However, when life is structured around a checklist like this, can you really experience full joy and contentment? Can you really live a life that you'll look back on when you're on your death bed and praise God for everything that occurred? Can you really know people, and I mean know who they are in the very fiber of their being, and develop those lasting, legacy-leaving relationships? I have a hard time believing that's possible.

Don't get me wrong, deadlines and to-do lists have their place in the world. I don't know if I could function without my planner! The problem lies not in the checklist itself but in how we respond to it. Our to-do lists are not meant to take the place of careful thought and consideration. When we read the Bible, it's not to be able to mark something off a list--it's to dive deeper into a relationship with the God of the universe and discover more fully His beauty, love, grace, and mercy. When we spend time with friends, it's not to make sure our friendships are secure--it's to build relationships of closeness, depth, trust, and care. When we do homework, it's not to maintain a good GPA (although that's a nice side effect)--it's to learn and grow in knowledge and truth. I could go on and on, but I think you get my point. Life is a choice. When we build the foundation of our days around crossing off items on a checklist, we make the choice to intentionally live in a way that will not and cannot bring the deepest satisfaction that God intended. 

The quote above came from an article about things most people regret on their death beds. The article ends with the quote, which sums up the whole article. In the quote, it lists three ways to choose LIFE. 
1. Choose consciously--make an effort to think about the decisions you make on a day to day basis and the "motions" you go through. Why are you living the way you are? Are you living surface level, or are you going deep with God and the people around you?
2. Choose wisely--seek wise counsel about the way you are living. We all make mistakes. Discover ways to improve your life. Ask God to guide you as you make decisions because only He can direct your path wisely.  
3. Choose honestly--remain true to who you are. Don't change your personality because someone wants you to. Always strive to become more and more Christ-like, and allow the passions God has given you to bloom. 

I don't want you to think I am a master of balancing my to-do list with my desire to live life to the fullest, because I definitely am not. I am still learning about how this whole "life" thing works. However, God has been pushing me more and more toward living a life of contentment and joy, and I am so thankful. 

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