I love a good list. I love checking things off because my dopamine spikes when check something off. The problem with to do lists is that they don’t turn into “to be” lists. The things on my list are not translating into a more fuller life. Just recently, I was reminded of that.
I had had a full couple of days and today was no different. My Facebook told me I was invited to a birthday party of a former student. I hemmed and hawed all day about whether I was going to go or not. I had other things to do the I thought were more important. God had other plans.
I went to the restaurant, where it was being held, and sat and watched as people interacted and I sat and caught up with an old acquaintance who was having some health problems.
Our serve arrived and to my surprise, it was another one of my former students. When she was young she and I had a special bond. She was full of life and joy. I can remember when faux-hawks were a thing and she decided I should have one. Reluctantly I let her shape my hair, what little I had, into the then trendy faux hawk. I’m glad the trend did not last because I looked only slightly silly in it.
After I moved on from the church, this young lady fell into a the trap of drugs and addiction. She had gone through a few programs and a life time of hardship. Today she was refilling my water and we laughed about life, church, and faux hawks.
Before leaving, while looking of the restroom, I saw a man whom I knew from church. He was a new Christian and had not been to church in a whole due to work and the fact that I wouldn’t just let him hang out in the youth room during youth group. I could sense that uncomfortable distance you feel when you haven’t seen someone in a while and they may or may not blame you for why they are not in church. He looked up, saw me, and acknowledged me so I took that as an open door to re-connect.
His son still comes to our youth ministry and I have been trying to involve him more and more. We talked briefly and then his dinner arrived. I left feeling like there wouldn’t be as much awkwardness the next time we saw each other.
All of this connection from one thing that wasn’t even on my list. I guarantee you that the other things on my list did not allow me to have these kinds of encourager and remind me why I was glad I had stayed in ministry as long as I have.
My encouragement is to leave room on your list (or just toss the old one) to
be you best self
and then find ways to match being with your doing.
How can you be more kind while picking up the dry cleaning?
How can you be more friendly with a new client?
Remember though, as I was reminded, the things that help you BEcome more, aren’t even on your list. Leave room for the unexpected and you’ll feel more accomplished than ever.