One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
I make a lot of "to do" lists. And, I remake my lists, over and over, as I re-prioritize and complete tasks, and new projects emerge. For quite awhile now, I've thought that I ought to have a "one a day" system for the things that are most important to me, such as:
1. read one chapter in my Bible each morning
2. write one letter every day
3. exercise once a day
4. make sure Ethan has 30 minutes in his stander every day
Alas, each day takes on a character of its own and my lists are altered accordingly. The older I get, the more I realize that it is not so much what you do as how and why you do it. Doing "the next thing, first", as my daughter would say, with cheerfulness and a servant's heart is more important than checking everything off the list, as though there's a prize at the end of the day for doing so. Doing all "as unto the Lord" is more important than trying to impress anyone with our capabilities and efficiency. Going about our duties for the good of others blesses ones' heart more than indulging self. And, last, but not least important is keeping the perspective eternal!
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Corinthians 4:18)
That eternal perspective just makes all the difference in the world, literally. For instance, am I so concerned that every last stick of silverware gets washed, that I become irritated at every interruption of the inquiring mind and heart of my child? Do I pause, dry my hands, stoop to face that boy and really listen to what interests him? Or, am I storing up clean dishes in heaven?!?! Obviously, dishes must be washed or soon we would be eating off the table; but, the thought here is : "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Dishes are not eternal. Clean houses (in & of themselves) are not eternal. Souls are. So, as we work at dishes or whatever it may be, our first priority must be to affect a soul for eternity...with a knowing smile, with a gentle touch, with a listening ear, with a compassionate heart, with a kind word or generous gesture...
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.(Phil.3:13)