As Good as a To-Do List

As Good As a To-Do List

Many people, if not most, navigate the day with some kind of prepared agenda:  a to-do list. It’s an essential element in getting things done, keeping you on target and on track throughout the day. And, of course, nothing feels better than marking through each item, one by one.

I love a to-do list, and here’s a twist on the idea that works just as well.

I’m talking about the To-Don’t list: Itemized reminders of the things I will not do today. Such as…

• Today I won’t eat sugar.
• Today I won’t watch TV.
• Today I won’t camp out on social media.
• Today I won’t raise my voice.
• Today I won’t engage in self-pity.

Sometimes the list will consist of actions that might be OK on other days, but this day you’re taking a break, such as putting down your phone for the afternoon or taking a day off from your hobby.

Other times the list is made up of actions and attitudes we must always avoid, and today you need that special reminder to steer clear of temptation: I will not think these thoughts, I will not say these words, I will not entertain this idea.

In Psalm 101 King David declared:  I will set no worthless thing before my eyes. (Psalm 101:3 NASB)

In Psalm 119 it became his prayer: Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. (Psalm 119:37)

Here is where we discover the power of the list. Avoiding the don’ts gives us more time for the greatest to-do of all: seeking God’s greater presence through the life-sustaining gift of his Word.