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To Do List

My mind is currently full of far too much ‘stuff’. Most mornings I have to write a to-do list. Last week I wrote my list. I prioritised the things so I did them in importance order. It was all perfectly timed around my daughter Zoe’s naps. I even wrote a to do list for my husband, Matt! I was super organised and had my whole day planned.

First on my list was food shopping, via the post office. I set off just after Zoe went to sleep knowing I had an hour and a half, 2 hours maximum before she woke up. All was going well. The post office was quick and I avoided the queues. On to the supermarket. I got what I needed and was about to go for the last item when someone said “Rachel…I thought I recognised you!” In case you don’t know, in England it is compulsory to wear a face mask when in supermarkets. So, all I could see was auburn hair and eyes poking over the top of this lady’s mask. She clearly knew me but I had no idea who she was. I obviously looked blank because she said “It’s Pam…” I was thinking ‘PAM WHO!?!??’ I couldn’t place her at all. After a few more awkward prompts and my profuse apology I finally realised who she was! A lady I hadn’t seen for nearly 18 years!

As we started to chat in the back of my mind, I was thinking, ‘I just need a loaf of bread then I can get home and do my expense claim before Zoe wakes up or my whole day will be thrown off. Hurry up Pam, I don’t have long’. Just as I was working out what I could postpone or shift onto Matt’s to-do list, I was brought back to the present, and the conversation I was supposed to be paying attention to. Pam was asking about my children. She was wondering how we are doing with COVID restrictions. She was asking what Matt and I are up to at the moment.

It was a really open invitation to share with her how God has been with us over the last 18 months, how God has provided, blessed and called us on to something different. I was able to share with her about the Inspire Movement and how abiding deeply with God through the use of spiritual disciplines and fellowship with fellow disciples enables me to be more missional in everyday life. She was intrigued. I was able to hear about her family and ask her where she had seen God in all that. It was a God opportunity to share openly with each other. All next to the crumpets in the bread aisle of ASDA! 

It was about 30 minutes out of my day though, and as I went through the checkout I was back to thinking about my to-do list. I would need a reshuffle now. As I left the store and got back in the car Matt texted me to say our neighbour was out in the garden cutting down a big shrub that I had previously offered to help him with. He was saying I should go help him. All the way home I was thinking, ‘Yeah I could help him, but what about my emails that need answering, or the document I was supposed to be checking over for Matt.’

I got home and spoke to our neighbour. He was really happy for me to help. In fact Matt and I took Zoe in the buggy and helped them chop down a huge bit of the shrub. As we helped them we chatted about all sorts. We had a few really good God conversations also. They said they were so surprised that we were willing to help them because they aren’t used to getting help from neighbours. We offered to take the rubbish and burn it. And we joked that if they found a long enough stick they could stand on their side of the fence and toast marshmallows on the fire. They admitted they had never toasted marshmallows on a fire. So last night we had a fire and introduce two city dwelling twenty-somethings to toasted marshmallows and s’mores! 

I still haven’t done my expense claim and everything else took a little bit longer. But as I went to bed that evening and I thought back over my to-do list I realised my first priority shouldn’t have been food shopping, it should have been God’s will! If doing God’s will is at the top of your to-do list, then everything else becomes mission with God, rather than a list of tasks that need completing. I was reminded of the verse, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Prov 19:21) I had many plans for my day but I am glad that God’s purposes prevailed because people’s attention and hearts were turned to Him, including mine 🙂 

Do you have God at the top of your to-do list? Where are you more intent on completing the tasks rather than doing God’s will? How could you make every day an opportunity for God’s purposes to prevail? 

Rachel and Matt are Inspire Missioners in England. They are preparing to give their full-time to working with the Inspire Movement and are raising financial support to enable them to do that. Perhaps you would like to join in God’s plans and purposes for making disciples through Inspire by becoming a regular giver or making a one-time donation. Click the button below to find out more

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