As a child, the one list I never made was a list to Santa about the gifts I wanted for Christmas. My family didn’t have much money, and I never wanted to make my parents feel bad about not being able to give me my much longed-for pitcher’s mitt. Thinking about that now, maybe I should have made that list to Santa.
The adult me, however, has become a chronic list maker. I make a list to go shopping (grocery or gift), and I don’t veer off the grocery list especially if I am at the market around lunch or dinner time.
I have a list of every record album in my collection, in alphabetical order. From books, to clothes, to my spice cabinet, everything has a place and an order to it, all because of my lists.
When I have company over for dinner I make a list of the food I’m serving, the time each one takes for cooking, and then another list to remind me of what not to forget in the refrigerator.
I don’t know where this list need came from, except that I used to see my Dad with a list of what needed fixing up around the house. Sometimes the list was short, and sometimes it was long. It could be genetic.
When we go on vacation or even a short weekend trip, I make up lists of what clothes to take along, what books I want to read, what kind of snacks we’d like to munch on, and which Bible I’d like to peruse.
Then there are my truly important lists—my prayer lists. I have a list of who I pray for in my missionary group, a list for people in my Adult Community group and another list for people in my Bible study group. These lists help me as I pray for missionaries out there spreading the good news of the gospel or for those I care about and their concerns for families and one another. I have a list for the needs of the woman I meet with weekly, learning from God’s Word together. I consider it a privilege to have these lists to look at and use every day.
However, it’s when I go “off list” and just speak to God as one friend to another that my prayer, or discussion, with God becomes meaningful. It’s as if I am sitting with a phone in hand, calling him to have a great talk together, sharing concerns, thoughts, hopes and dreams, good and bad that has occurred. And he’s probably relieved to not hear a list of prayers, wants, and needs.
So, as these December days bring us closer to the birth of our Savior, I’m making a list of what I can do for him.
Here it is:
•read his Word daily
•become the person I was meant to be according to his plan.
And then I’ll make a list of what I am serving for Christmas Eve dinner and New Year’s Day. And what final gifts I need to purchase, and what days I babysit the grandchildren, and what cookies of I have left to bake and . . .