Marriott Battle

To Do or Not To Do

I'm fasting to-do lists

Well, I'm not really fasting them because technically, my syllabi are constant to-do lists, and if I get rid of them, I'll probably fail out of college. But I'm fasting making to-do lists and focusing on completing tasks rather than living freely in the moments God has made for me. 

I've been idolizing organization and, in doing so, diminishing God's power and plans.

But to-do lists do make me happy. 

I'm the girl that will color code everything and schedule it out by the minute. I still have the schedule I made in preparation for last year's finals, and I had every minute of the day planned out.

I think I've gone through about 20 lists in the first 2 months of this semester because I've wanted to orchestrate and prepare for everything. But the more I think I can control the future, the more God reminds me He's in control.

My thoughts kept me up the other night because I was stressing about all the things I need to do in the next few weeks. I felt overwhelmed and incapable because I am.

We all are...

Only God can know what's happening the next day- so why should I think I'll have any clue as to what is going to happen a month from now?

Why do I feel the need to plan everything out when I know that God has already made the best plan for me?

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'"

(Jeremiah 29:11)

In the past two months of college, God has been teaching me to wreck my plans.

By trying to plan everything, I've been diminishing God's sovereignty and the authority He has in my life. I feel the need to make my own way and I disregard His perfect plan for me in doing so. 

I have to learn a balance between planning and letting God take control. 

Comparatively, most Christians need to learn when to strictly adhere to the Bible and when to focus on growing their personal relationship with God.

Studying the Bible and knowing our Creator are both important to Christians, but there needs to be a good balance between the two in order to have a healthy relationship with God.

I get caught up trying to organize all of the small details completely- but God just wants me to give Him the reigns and let Him make the plans.

At the beginning of the year, I had my homework written out (and color coded) on my whiteboard in my room for about a month. Every Sunday I would update it with the tasks of the week and decide how to execute them and when. Then one night, I was laying in my bed looking at all I had to do and I felt nothing but dread and anxiety. 

We are only given enough grace and peace for the current day so planning too far into the future will empty us of the peace we've already been given. We try to unsuccessfully transfer our peace into a problem we might not even have to face.

In the Bible, God gave the Israelites just enough manna to satisfy them for each day, However; they couldn't store it up through the night or it would go bad. 

He would continue to provide for them, but they needed to relinquish their control. 

"Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away" (Exodus 16:21). 

I love this part in the Bible because it shows God's daily provision and the trust we are asked to have in Him. 

'Grace' and 'peace' are inner emotions that our human eyes can't see. Even our hearts and souls can't always tell when we have them, but God gave a physical example in this story of His daily provision for us. 

We don't know what's going to happen in the future but we're not called, nor equipped to know. Only God can know, which really takes the pressure off of our little souls.

So I'm throwing out my to-do lists and letting God make the plans for now.

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