OK. I confess. I’m Type A. I have a To Do List – everyday. At the very core of my being there’s a little voice saying, “If you get through 75%-100% of your List, it’s a good day.” Conversely, if I accomplish 50% or less, the little voice gets up on its little soapbox and goes on a tirade, “You have been unproductive. You have insufficient checks on your List. What good are you if you can’t finish your list?” Frankly, the little voice used to really get me down if I didn’t check enough boxes — until I discovered something missing in my Bible.
There’s no To Do List. Jesus (who gave us a perfect God-become-man pattern for living) never had a To Do List. Instead, He had compassion.
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them because they were like a sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things.” (Mark 6:34)
“I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry or they may collapse on the way.” (Matthew 15:32)
“…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37)
Of course Jesus had a longterm goal. He was ultimately moving toward the cross — the crowning act of compassion that paved the way to eternal life in heaven (and abundant life now) for anyone who believes in Jesus. Yet all along the way, He saw deep hunger in people — for both physical and spiritual nourishment — and He fed them. He saw people yearning for answers to life’s tough questions and He taught them.
Today was a day that could have ended with ranting and raving from my little voice. I only checked off three things. I fed a family who brought home a new baby. I fed encouragement from the stands at my teenage son’s basketball game. And I hope that, through my keyboard, God fed a kernel of life-changing truth to someone reading this. Only three things — but those three things were born of compassion, instead of a desire to validate worth through vain, quantitative productivity. What was driving you today — checking off boxes or checking on the needs of those around you? What will drive you tomorrow?