Going Through the Motions
Another day, another checklist. The kids need to be picked up, the test needs to be studied for, the chicken is burning in the oven and needs to be taken out, the paper must be turned in.
You wake up thinking about what needs to be done, what didn’t get done yesterday, and what must be done for tomorrow. You find yourself worrying and wondering how the piled high list of to-do’s will get done. You keep saying, “Once this gets done, I’ll feel so much better. I just have to get through this,” over and over again as more things arise. You accomplish a task and another one gets added.
I’ve got something to tell you.
Life is not meant to be a long list of checklists.
There will always be things to do, so we cannot keep going through the motions of just trying to get by or get through. Each day should be fully embraced with spirit and gratefulness and passion. We can’t view each day as a series of daunting tasks.
I’ve found myself saying this a lot lately. “Oh, if I only get through this week, then I’ll be alright. If I push through these two exams, three papers, and this presentation, then I’ll be content.” That week passes and another set of tasks present themselves. “Oh, if I only get through today, then I’ll be fully happy. If only I make it through this project, then I can enjoy myself.”
The days go by and I find myself going through the motions.
I begin to lose sight of all the joy to be found in each day and each task.
There is purpose in each day.
Each day of life you live has purpose and meaning. Each task that you need to check off is an opportunity. How will you use it? Will you look at it as a daunting task or an opportunity to impact others and your life?
I know what you may be thinking. It’s probably somewhere along the lines of, “But Madison, how in the heck am I supposed to find joy in a task like folding laundry or doing the dishes or studying for a test? There are some tasks that I do not like and will never look forward to. How am I supposed to find joy in them?”
Well I’m here to tell you that your life is only as mundane and monotonous as you allow it to be. Why not play some music while you’re folding laundry and have a little party jamming to Beyoncé? Why not use cleaning the dishes as an opportunity to reflect on how blessed you are to have food to put in those dishes? Why not use studying for that test as a reminder of the opportunity you’re given to learn and be educated?
It’s not easy. I slip up all the time.
But it’s important to remember that life is not meant to be lived by just simply going through the motions. We are to live life abundantly and to the fullest! Look up around you and realize that there is more to life than a to-do list.
You can’t do it on your own.
If we get caught up in this to-do list, we sometimes allow our faith to become one as well. We pray, we go to church, we do what we feel we should. Sometimes we are so focused on what needs to be done that we forget why we are doing it. We start to be concerned with what we’re facing in life that we forget to turn our faces towards the One who has all the answers in His hands.
If you start to become so consumed with your everyday tasks within your own life, you may fall into thinking that you don’t really need God to accomplish them. I will tell you this right now: if you’re not hungry for God, you’re probably full of yourself.
Listen to James 4:13-15 “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow… Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’”
You don’t need to figure it all out on your own! You don’t need to constantly be trying to figure out the next agenda, the next task to get done.
Don’t worship the gifts. Worship the Giver.
There are so many wonderful gifts in life to be thankful for. There are so many wonderful opportunities presented to us each day. We must be careful not to think so much about the things we are given and what we must do with those things, but rather who has given us those things.
Your life with Jesus is a relationship, not a routine. You have a purpose. God has given you a why. You must choose to seek after it each day and find renewed joy and peace through it. The world does not revolve around your agenda and your plan. Life is so much more fulfilling and enriching when we trust that God will take care of our needs both today and tomorrow.
Stop going through the motions, and find joy in today.