‘Tis the season to make lists. We are not talking about Santa, as we all know, that season is over. I am talking about the lists that we pen to start the New Year fresh. Goals, resolutions, wish list; whatever you want to call them. And even if we haven’t written them down yet, we are mentally listing what we will do next or what we need to pick up at the grocery store. I sort of like and enjoy lists, so you won’t be surprised that while I was at the grocery store this past weekend I picked up the January edition of Real Simple, which headlined with “Feel calmer now: 20 essential lists to organize your life”. Lists tend to calm me down because I am afraid I will forget something. I do not totally know why I like lists so much, sure I get satisfaction after crossing an activity off that has been completed. They also can be a measuring tool to see how far I’ve progressed on my desired goals. I guess it is just fun to put a list together. I even bought a book once called “List Yourself”. It has categories and you just start listing until your mind is exhausted of ideas. I liked a couple lists that the magazine suggested: “The Not-To-Do List” and “The To-Do List You Can Actually Do”. On the second list, they had suggestions like “Forget to put laundry in the dryer. Clothes can be permanently pressed (whatever that means) tomorrow.” I love it.
A list can be a sort of an aphorism, which is a concise, memorable statement. A proverb comes to mind. Those witty sayings of Benjamin Franklin, such as “A penny saved, is a penny earned,” or from the Bible we get many of these memorable statements like “Pride comes before a fall.” Both sayings are potential items for our goals for 2009. You might be surprised how many lists are in the Bible. Genealogies, commandments, proverbs, a time table (see Ecclesiastes 3) and a list of benefits that we are not to forget, are all there in order to glean wisdom.
I will leave you with the benefits and a link to the Real Simple list page.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,and forget not all his benefits —
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:2-5 NIV