The to do list (a prayer for pastors)

The last thing on my to do list.
The last thing on my to do list.

Holy One,

Some weeks are long-listed.
I type into the Notes app,
available across devices.
I like to write it all down,
then backspace over
the finished tasks.
The blank box is my reward.

Some people
do it differently,
writing a list on paper,
the back of an envelope,
or a page in a spiral notebook,
or the front sheet of a legal pad,
drawing lines through the words
to mark tasks completed.

I hope you are interested,
O God,
because so many of the things
on my list
are directly related
to working for you.

I study and plan and write.
I shop and set up
and host and teach.
I organize my thoughts
trying to serve you better.

I don’t suppose a to do list
is a prayer, but if
I were to pray it,
I would pray that you
be in and around and between
all the lines of my life,
the characters I type
and the characters I meet,
the words I write
and the words I speak.

Maybe all my to do lists
need to start this way:
For God’s sake, this week
I need to …

In the list-making
and the backspacing
and the lining through,
be with us, Lord.
Amen.

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