What if I told you I’ve found a way to boost my satisfaction? And what if I told you it was biblical and emulated our Creator? Would you be interested?
When I looked at my calendar for the New Year, my stomach tightened. The holiday break was winding down and a fire hose of “to do’s” threatened to drown me. That is how I feel whenever I try to swallow big chunks of responsibilities in one gulp. I doubt I’m alone in this. Let me share two small shifts that help me experience greater satisfaction in my work.
1. Create “To Do” Lists in Light of Your “Daily Bread”
Even though God does not become weary, the Creator divided up the complex job of creation into daily chunks. We follow His example when we do the same.
The reason to survey what lies ahead is so we can better plan and divide our work into reasonable portions. When we break big assignments into bite-sized projects, tasks become manageable. “To do” lists help us focus, track our progress, and achieve success.
I like to set deadlines and work backwards. I ask God for His help and commit the outcome and each step to Him. Jesus’ words, “Each day has enough trouble of its own,” reminds me it’s fruitless to worry about tomorrow. Today, I will seek His kingdom and His righteousness and trust Him to provide what I need (see Matthew 6:25-34).
Jesus prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11 NASB). Just as God fed the Israelites manna from heaven daily, He also provides for our needs one day at a time. He supplies the energy, ideas, wisdom, and resources we need when we need them.
When tomorrow’s cares threaten to darken today, I remind myself, today, I only need to do what my heavenly Father wants me to do. His manna is sufficient for today’s need.
2. Create “Did It” Lists with Thanksgiving
While “To do” lists help us focus and track our progress, “Did it” lists empower us. Consider how much better we feel when we give thanks for each day’s labor instead of bemoaning what is unfinished. This is especially true when we make our lists from God’s perspective. For example, instead of listing diaper changes, we could write, “I showed my baby love by making her comfortable and protecting her from diaper rash six times today.” Or instead of “showed houses,” write, “I helped a couple clarify the type of home they need.” Or, “I showed God’s compassion to a frustrated coworker.”
“Did it” lists keep us grateful. During the process of creating the world, God enjoyed the process (Genesis 1:3). At the end of each day, He looked over His day’s work and “saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:9, 12, 18, 21, 25).
“Did it” lists remind us to be faithful stewards where God plants us and help us remember that He supplies the strength for His assignments. They teach us that our real work is to trust Him and seek His kingdom. Taking breaks when there is unfinished business becomes an act of faith.
When I break down my work, life becomes enjoyable. When I focus on today, I have peace. When I change how I evaluate my day’s work, I feel grateful.
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Blessings for the New Year,
Debbie W. Wilson
We offer a leader’s guide for those leading a small group through Give Yourself a Break. Between now and January 15th, it’s free to those who begin a group in January 2016. Just email me the date your group starts and the city you’re from.
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