A lot of wisdom has been gleaned from missionaries I’ve worked with, particularly a couple who served faithfully in the Caribbean for over twenty-eight years. Over many lessons they taught me, one simple and profound truth stands out.
write it down
Like I said, simple but profound
A blessing of ministry is that you never run out of things to do. This is a blessing since you’re able to continually invest yourself in the Lords work. It is also a great responsibility since it’s easy to forget what you were supposed to do, or not plan things out correctly.
The “never ending to-do list” is especially dangerous because many of us (myself included) rely on our short-term memory. Our mind reminds us of something that needs to be done, and instead of acting on it right away, we put it off.
The problem is our memory tends to focus on the most pressing needs. To put in very basic terms….our short-term memory forgets. By the time we do remember that task, it’s usually much later, or when it reaches a crisis point.
The answer to this problem is pretty simple…..
When an idea come to your mind write it down IMMEDIATELY
I do a variation of this using a software on my phone to capture tasks that come to my mind during the day quickly, and then writing them down in a notebook that night. That way the next morning there is a fairly organised to-do list for that day
The true reason for writing things down instead of relying on my short-term memory is we are called to lives of effectiveness by the Lord. This means time, and energy must be used wisely.
It’s amazing how much time and energy is wasted trying to figure out what we should be doing next. A simple glance at a to-do list means our time has a true purpose.
In a deeper sense this gives our lives a divine purpose. Through Bible study, prayer, and planning my schedule can adapt to the agenda of God.
As I grow older its already becoming apparent to me that my strength and energy is limited. It’s better to invest that energy carefully in the things of God instead of investing it in what I feel is important.