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Do You Have A To-Be List?

In early January, I spent some time discerning my top priorities for the year. The result was a list of 4 To-Do’s and 4 To-Be’s for 2021. For instance, “refinishing our basement” is one of my top To-Do priorities. “Remaining open to others” is one of my top To-Be priorities.


I’m not sure what prompted it, but as I looked at my list yesterday, I was struck by the awareness that most of us live with some form of a To-Do list. Whether written down or in our heads, it’s how we approach doing things and how we keep track of what we’ve gotten done. But how many of us, I wondered, have a To-Be list?

Now, I’m not unrealistic; I know that there are things in life that just have to get done. And there can be real satisfaction in just “taking care of business.” But, without a To-Be list, what’s the meaning of the expenditure? What’s the vision it links to? And what’s not on the To-Do list that really matters to us?


So back to our basement. Without a connection to my To-Be list, the money, time, and energy would simply be an expenditure to improve a dingy and derelict space. But when I consider who I want to be, it becomes an investment. I want to be a grandpa who creates with his grandkids—and I also want to be a creative, a painter myself. Can you see how being clear about what we want To-Be can focus, inspire, and give clarity to what’s on our To-Do list and why?


Take a minute, and jot down 10 things (without over-thinking or editing) that you want on your To-Be list. Now, what do you notice? How do you feel? Could it be that God is giving you greater focus about what your life is to “be” about?


Keep this list in front of you and look at it once a day. Then add something to your To-Do list that will move you one step closer to who you want To-Be.

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