Friday, June 9, 2017

The List

Year 5 - Day 160: Today, I am grateful for "the list". 

It is one of those weekends that I know we will get everything checked off, but on the shoreline of the big adventure, I am not sure how. Multiple things to accomplish, places to go and people to see. What is a person to do? Make a list.

I love a task checklist for procedures that need completed in a certain order or time frame. I use them at work, but for that very reason, I try not to let them consume my home life. There is a part of me that likes to be free to go and do as the spirit moves me. Today is not that day. 

My Sister-in-love, Jennifer is a list taker and maker. She often has several going on the counter. The closest I come most days, are the days I am doodling on a piece of paper and write down what the days accomplishments have been. It is fun, but only if I can draw doodles, too. Today, I will use the list as a tool to get more done with less stress. 

Most of my lists end up left at home... accidentally... on the counter top. Thank goodness, if I write something down, I seem to retain it better, even if I never pick up the list again. 

Old time teachers used writing lines..."I will not talk back to the teacher." The same list item written over and over.

Moses took a list of God's rules... laws written in stone...from the hand of God. 

And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. -Exodus 31:18

God then sent Moses down the mountain, because the people were acting in disobedience.  They wanted what they wanted. They wanted an idol that was tangible... something they could see and touch...  instead of trusting completely in the living, holy God who had led them out of slavery in Egypt. 

God was angry. He would have destroyed them, but Moses reminded him of his promise to Abraham. God keeps his promises. God's character does not change... but he can change his mind. Moses would plead for the people of Israel. 

(Side note... throughout Exodus... God and Moses have different moments when they are done with the whining, complaining and thankless attitudes of a nation that had been rescued, fed and provided for in every way. Forty years they were given not as penance, but to learn to trust the living God.)

Moses returned to the people of Israel with God's instructions. They had grown impatient waiting for him. They created a golden calf to worship and were dancing in celebration around it as he arrives with God's words for them. Now, Moses is the one who is ticked! He sees what God saw from his omniscient vantage point. 

When they came near the camp, Moses saw the calf and the dancing, and he burned with anger. He threw the stone tablets to the ground, smashing them at the foot of the mountain. Exodus 32:19

Then Moses does something I can not fathom. In a fit of temper... at the people of Israel's behavior...  Moses threw the tablets down and broke them. Oh Moses!  That was God's list of "to do's" and "to don'ts". Yikes.

There is a bunch that happens in the next chapters. God is very present and displeased. The ugly consequences of sin are made clear. The wages of sin was, is and will be death. 

Then it is time for round two for Moses with God on Mount Sinai. I love that this time, God makes Moses cut the tablets. 

"The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke." Exodus 34:1 

Then, God decides perhaps Moses should write the words plain and clear. What ownership that brings to the list. So... back up the mountain Moses goes... and this time, this is how it goes:

So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. Exodus 34:28

The list is precious wisdom. Jesus puts it in a nutshell. "Love God. Love each other." 

I am not perfect at "the list" but I try. Today, I will take advantage the purpose a list can bring to the day, but we cannot forget to offer that list to the Lord in prayer and for His purpose. He gets to make changes in my plans. It is part of the deal. 

Today, I am grateful for "the list". 

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