List-ing

“Another day, another dollar; fourteen hours on snowshoes and wish I had pie.”

So a Maine trapper wrote in his diary. Good man, I think he had mastered the art of schedule and a fairly cheerful resignation to it. His wish has only the barest hint of complaint…and certainly, who could blame him?

I have a love-hate relationship with schedules. Defending from ‘chaos and whim’, my lists are usually a way to keep me moving through the day. When the to-do’s get long however, they overwhelm me…and some days I throw them in the garbage.

Of course, if you know me, you’ll know that I have to fish them out. After all, even my spontaneous days are marked on the calendar ahead of time.

The whole situation generally makes me uptight, and I don’t fly my list-flag that proud. And maybe what I’m really trying to grasp when I make bullet points, is the sense of an intentional life.

“How we spend our day is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.”

It’s a rhythm, a putting of one foot in front of the other.

But what it never should become, is a striving, my eyes on the wrong sort of goal.

“There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by…The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet.”

Requiring less and less, love abounding more. And so my list has one thing at the top…today, enjoy God.

~Quotes from The Writing Life by Annie Dillard.

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