“Yesterday,” Stan began, “was supposed to be a big day for me to accomplish a lot of things that needed to be done.”
“How’d it go?” I asked.
“Started out great,” Stan replied. “I made two lists. One was a list of places I needed to go to pick up some stuff. The second list was what I was going to do with what I picked up.”
“The first few stops were fine,” he continued. ” I was checking things off my first list and I was feeling real good about the progress I was making. Then it happened.”
“What?” I asked.
“As I was leaving the hardware store over on Grand Avenue, I saw that used book store across the street. I love browsing in used book stores and that’s where I went. Bad choice!”
“After about an hour in the store,” Stan said, “I got a text message from my wife reminding me that we had company coming for dinner and that I needed to get home. That was the end of completing what was on my list. A good start ended poorly because of a bad choice.”
Continuing, he said, “As I was driving home feeling a bit dejected, I was reminded of what the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi about keeping to what is on the list.”
“He wrote about lists?” I replied.
“Well, not about making lists,” Stan replied, “but he gave the church a list of things they were to focus on, things that they were to let their minds dwell on.”
“What kind of things?”
“Things like whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, anything that is excellent and worthy of praise.”
“Wow,” I responded, “sounds like a good list.”
“A great list for me,” Stan said. “I just need to keep myself focused on what is on the list and not wander to things that are not on it!”
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving me lists of things you want me to focus on, things that are pleasing to you. I confess that many times I wander away from what is on your list to follow what is on my list apart from yours. Please forgive me. And please help me to keep myself focused only on what you have for me to be and do on this side of eternity. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.