“It’s time to go! Get in the car kids!” I shout as I gather backpacks, my purse, and my giant bottle of water that goes everywhere with me. In that moment, my older child goes flying through the house almost trampling her sister in the process. They are both shrieking as the older one wants to be first so desperately and the younger one would like to be first too but feels more put off by the way her sister plowed around her to get in front.
I find myself scolding her, letting her know that she doesn’t have to be first all the time. Life isn’t going to allow her to be first very often at all actually. I also tell her that it’s more important to be a good friend than it is to win. I ask, “Were you a good friend to your sister this morning?”
But seriously, don’t we all do this to some extent? Even as adults. We’re so busy chasing after our own stuff that we don’t notice the people around us. We don’t make time to connect with our neighbors besides a casual wave, we don’t see our co-workers outside of work, or other church members outside of church.
A Slave to the To-Do List
I’m an advocate of having a list of things to do mainly because I don’t trust my memory and the list keeps me on track. But I’ve been guilty too often of having my heart and mind so focused on that to-do list that I don’t see people who might need a little love or I don’t make time to foster relationships with people and form true connections.
On one such occasion, I received a reprimand straight from God. In the same way that I reminded my daughter not to trample her sister, God reminded me not to run over people while I was trying to accomplish my tasks. I’d been so focused on getting done what I needed to get done that I had failed to see that a woman in my path needed a little time and love.
…You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but never have enough…because my house lies in ruins while you busy yourself with yours. – Haggai 1:5-9
People are More Important Than My To-Do List
God wanted me to start disconnecting from my to-do list and to start noticing the people he placed in my path. Over time, this lesson became just a piece of a bigger lesson but it was were I needed to start. Don’t be in a such a hurry to do something, that you miss the opportunity to connect with someone. We certainly don’t want to trample over them and make them feel invisible. People are more important than our to-do list.