“Let’s just make a list!”
No one actually came out and said that during my first “Live the List” Bible study, but that was the sense I was getting from some members of the group.
“Drew, we get it! Make a list…mark things off…help someone else mark something off their list.”
“It’s not brain science. It’s a bucket list.”
Again, this dialogue didn’t actually take place, but that was the head trash I was working through as I prepared for Week No. 2 of the 3-week course. I kept asking myself, “Am I making this too complicated?”
Reminder: I felt like I was walking a moral tight rope before this Bible study even began. I kept asking myself, “Can ‘Live the List’ be a spiritual journey or is it just another egotistical thing to clutter our lives?” The deeper I dug, the more head trash I encountered. At one point, I actually started to corroborate the fictitious conversation above.
“Drew, they get it! It isn’t brain science!”
Then, I cleared the mechanism, said a small prayer – asking for courage, confidence and wisdom – and refocused on the potential of “Live the List.” I hadn’t lost any faith in the concept, I was simply working through the thought process. I wanted to make it as impactful as it could possibly be.
I finally rediscovered it, lurking in the…limelight.
To kickoff the second week of the Bible study, I shared my head trash with the group. I also revealed my rekindled vigor and excitement.
“I want Live the List to be sustainable,” I told the group with sheer confidence. “Anyone can make a list and mark a few things off, but it’s only a matter of time before it’s buried under life again – work, bills, T-ball and soccer games, mindless TV.”
I reiterated the importance of laying a solid foundation, which is more than just jotting 25 things you want to do on a cocktail napkin and hoping you mark something off before it’s left in the pocket of your jeans and disintegrates in the washing machine.
I’ve shared several of my arguments before, but I feel like the foundation is really starting to solidify. Again, It starts with being comfortable in your own skin and gratefulness for the life you’re living.
I asked the Bible study group, “How do we do that?”
I quickly answered my rhetorical question with, “Perspective.”
In a spiritual sense, it means seeing life from God’s point of view. In the Bible, the words “understanding,” “wisdom,” and “discernment” all have to do with perspective. It also examines the opposite of perspective:
“Hardness of heart”
It’s the difference between living in the light or walking aimlessly in the dark. (Again, remember where I rediscovered this. Not. Walking. In. The. Dark.)
In the wonderfully great book The Noticer Returns, author Andy Andrews wrote:
“Darkness commands an inordinate amount of attention from a person who is unprepared and unprotected. Attention to darkness produces doubt. When a person is distracted and weakened by struggles, doubt whispers a message logically urging surrender; and soon, that person’s focus is on his own discomfort, his fear and anger, regret and resentment.”
He also wrote: “Proper perspective about every facet of your existence is only everything.”
Again, I firmly believe that intentional perspective is how we get to a place of contentment and how we start living with a grateful heart – the first two pillars we need to make “Live the List” a sustainable idea.
In order to keep this post from entering the realm of exhaustive, I’m stopping here. I’ll breakdown the rest of the “Live the List” foundation in a future post.
Here’s a tease, though: If you’ve built a list that revolves around “me, me, me” – you’re NOT living the list. If your motives are driven by selfishness and arrogance – you’re NOT living the list. If other people don’t play a significant role in your life list – you’re NOT living the list.
“Let’s just make a list!”
Not quite yet…