I love a good checklist. It might be one of my top 10 most favorite things – a good old-fashioned checklist. Because a checklist means completion and accomplishment and progress. It gives me a sense of being in control, a sense of conquering. It’s how I start every project and it’s how I create victory; to one by one check off the list. When you have a checklist you can shout a 4-letter word – “DONE”! Oh the sweet satisfaction of “DONE”! It feels good.
But I have come to learn that there are some things in life that will never be done. It was a tough realization at first and I wrestled with it, not wanting to succumb to its truth. Why can’t everything be a checklist? Why can’t life be that orderly? Why can I not shout DONE at everything? As attractive as this first seemed to me, I have learned that if all of life was a checklist, it would be neat and clean, but it would lack heart and depth and joy and satisfaction that can come from the messiness of life.
The first time I became keenly aware of the truth that not all of life is a checklist was after I had my 1st baby, my son Ian (he’s 5 now and we love taking “funny-face-selfies” together). I can hear all you veteran moms out there giggling right now. After the feeding, clothing, bathing, changing, holding and playing was DONE it seemed I had to start all over again. It was a constant cycle that was never done. I could never seem to make the checkmark on the paper. I wrestled with this. I thought, “How can this be? I have been able to control most things in my life so far. Why not this?”
And then one day this truth lit up my soul – the best things in life are never done. What if we could put a checkmark by loving? How sad. What if there was a completion date on spiritual and personal growth? How empty. What if we could mark done by our friendships? How lonely. The best things in life are never done.
And now I am on a journey of investing more of myself into the things I can never mark “done” by. You know, those really significant things like family and marriage and babies and personal growth and relationships and tough conversations and time in God’s presence and quiet moments of being fully present and life experiences, those things. It’s messy, it’s complicated at times, it often requires me to die to myself. And praise God, it will never be DONE.