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To Do Lists…Do They Rule You?


What is on your “To Do” List?

On days when your list is long, do you ever feel a bit anxious or hurried? I am asking because I do.  The list mocks me and, if I am not intentional, it rules me.

Today my list felt a mile long.  It is one of those weeks (months to be honest) when life is full to the brim.  I was distracted by all the things before me.

Of course there was a slow poke in front of me in line.  Other people checked and out and left. All my stuff lay crammed on the conveyor belt…it was too late to switch lines.  I listened as the elderly woman in front of me talked on and on with the cashier.

I have to be honest.

As much as I value the elderly I was not liking this lady today.  Her jabber was slowing me up from checking off my list. I really did not want to hear about her diabetes and how the company that makes this canned goods was going out of business.  I am now embarrassed to type my thoughts, but these are the honest truths.

I heard some folks talking loudly across the front of the store.  To get my mind off of the eternally long time it was taking me, I began to observe these people.  They were obviously a family or close friends.  They spoke in a language I had never heard.  Large backpacks and lots of children made them look a bit gypsyish.  One man was pushing two tiny babies around in a buggy. They seemed quiet pleasant as I tried to figure them out.

In the midst of my distraction I heard the lady in front of me speaking directly to me.  I focused as she is asking me if I heard the cashier say that her son was healed of diabetes.  I am instantly engaged.  I am also aware that this elderly woman’s demeanor had completely changed.  As she is left she looked at the cashier and told her that she knew now why she came to Walmart today.

It was my turn.  I jumped right in and asked the cashier about her son.  We began to encourage each other.  I told her that it was amazing how the Lord uses her to minister to people as she checked them out.  It crossed my mind that her conversation with some customers may be the only one they have all day long.  She is beaming and so am I.  She shared with me how the greeter prayed for a man’s hand this morning.  As I left she came around and hugged me, knowing we have each made a new friend.

I found myself smiling as I walked to the parking lot.  Even though I can not find my van, I am so touched by this woman’s ministry I am wandering and thinking.

I began to hear the people again. Their strange language is reverberating though the parking lot.  They are loading up in to multiple vehicles and as I locate my van I notice their license plates.


They had been displaced by Hurricane Ima.  I get a nudge from the Lord.  “Speak to the them.” I argued.  “But they don’t speak English. This could be humiliating for us all.”

As if to say, “I will make this one easy for you,” one of the men headed directly toward the buggy return, beside my van.  The flashes from the store came flooding back.

  • heavy laden backpacks
  • tiny little babies
  • lots of people

In spite of my potential embarrassment I began to speak.  I did not have a clue what to say, so I just jumped in.

“God bless you man.”

He looked at me with a huge smile and without even waiting for me to say the rest he said (in perfect English) “Thanks so much!”

I mentioned that I had seen their Florida tags.

Continuing in his joy he responsed, “YES! And we are headed back now!” He was obviously thrilled to be going back home.   I blessed their return as we parted ways.

I was so busy that I almost missed huge blessings.  My list was so big and distracting that I almost failed to see the Lord at work all around me.

I still have so much to do.  The list really is not any shorter than it was an hour ago.  But I am sitting in my chair typing this out so that I do not forget one single part.  I have temporarily kicked that stupid list to the curb.

So if you find yourself in the same place as me I hope you will remember this story.  May the daily grind of your day not overwhelm you to the point that life becomes all about getting the very next thing done.

May you see people loving people.

There are people all around us who have hard things going on in their lives.

It sometimes helps our perspectives to get our eyes off ourselves!  There is so much for which to be thankful, even in the Walmart line.


6 thoughts on “To Do Lists…Do They Rule You?

  1. Oh how I love this! I had a colleague at Union tell me once, “whoever walks through your (office) door is who God has placed before you today….don’t miss the opportunity”.

    1. A missionary that I dearly love and admire always says to love the one in front of you! Sometimes it is not easy, especially in the Walmart line. But you are so right, they are definitely opportunities!

  2. Wow this is hilarious tht this is what your post was abt today bc I had this crazy to-do list abt a mile long and not an ounce of real energy to get it done . .. Not to mention really didn’t want to spend my day off aka (day of rest) running around like a chicken wth her head caught off since Wed-Thurs is really my weekend right now . . . And then I got to thinking, “You know, maybe I should jst spend the day wth Jesus chillaxing and Only do the Most important thing on my ever so “vital” list, so I can have some PEACE and REST! And that’s what I’m doing and don’t feel the least guilty abt it . . . lol Praise Jesus for Spirit-Led days vs. endless busy days . . Like Joyce says,”Better to be Fruitful than Busy!” lol Love all ur posts Betsy, they’re such a blessing!

    1. I pray that your day with Jesus is the most wonderful refreshing time ever! Enjoy each moment with Him. Thank you so much for your encouragement to me!!

  3. This made me laugh and cry. Beautiful job, sister. It’s the little things that can make a big impact! Love you!

    1. Thank you so much! You are so right…the little things. I have great examples to follow. Love you too!

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