100 simple tasks


You have them. So do I. We think we have huge projects, but we have 100 simple tasks.

I was thinking about the other morning, working my way through a list of the things I want to get done. I started writing the big projects so that I could write the simple tasks that make them up.

  • “I want to take an excerpt of one of Paul’s letters and explain it.”
  • “I want to take care of the paperwork by finding one piece of it.”
  • “I want to remember birthdays and have to accept that a simple statement on a Facebook page is perfectly acceptable, even if a hundred other people do it too.”

And while I was writing out the list I wrote, “I want to take no thought for tomorrow because tomorrow has enough trouble.” And then I wrote, “Instead, I want to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

It’s not from my list. It’s from a list Jesus made when he was talking with a group of his followers. We know it as the sermon on the mount. I’ve read it often. I even wrote a book about it. But we don’t always take things that we read and put them on our list of things to do.

Of course, how could those broad statements about “not worrying” and “seeking the kingdom” show up in a list of 100 simple tasks? I wonder if I should make 30 of the simple tasks simply say, “Don’t worry.”

1. write that email.
2. don’t worry.
3. sign that paperwork.
4. don’t worry.
5. rerun that cable.
6. don’t worry.
7. write the study questions.
8. don’t worry.

Maybe 30 isn’t the right number. Maybe I need to make every other item on my list of projects be, “don’t worry.” Because maybe, for some of us, every second item now says “worry.”


First published in 2014