I’m not usually drawn to lists, but this list is different. Most lists are boring; some lists are important. Before pilots fly, they go through a safety check list to make sure everything is working properly. New patients fill out the doctor’s questionnaire about their medical history. They run through a check-list of health issues. When I was a boy we lived about a mile and half from the grocery store and my mother sent me to the store with a list. There were a few times, especially at the beginning, when I didn’t read the list very carefully and got the wrong item. My mother remained cool. She didn’t make a big deal over it, but she did train me to read the list.
When it comes to spiritual formation, list-making doesn’t seem to work very well. Pray more, check the box; read your Bible, check; attend church, check; go on a mission trip to the Congo, check. Some people like things spelled out in black and white. They want a to-do list for the soul, because at the end of the day they want a feeling of accomplishment.
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