When Your To Do List Steals Your Moments

Being busy is a badge of honor for most of us. So much so it’s the way the vast majority of people respond to the question, “How are you doing?”


Great. Been really busy.

I’m rolling.

It’s fascinating to me that we are all so busy but very few people are doing much of anything really well.

I’m not trying to offend anyone with that statement. It’s an opinion. Opinions are like butts, everyone has one and most of them stink.

The truth is with everyone being so busy I would think our society would do a much better job at returning phone calls, keeping appointments, and simply doing what we say we will do.

Overwhelmingly companies that I deal with do not return phone calls. They literally are throwing away money because they won’t answer their phone or call me back. Way too many people forget to email back or RSVP for important dates.

Everyone is busy. Most of us are stressed. Anxiety is running rampant.

We are all running around like chickens with no heads, but what are we accomplishing?

Our busyness causes us to miss out on the moments that truly matter.

We have a difficult time being fully present with those we love because we are worried about our to do list.

We have so much to do that we don’t do anything very well.

I am challenged by the quote by Pastor Tim Keller,

“Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
-Tim Keller

For most of us we don’t rest very well and therefor we are always tired. Even when we rest our minds are busy thinking about what we have to do.

I wonder if that’s one of the reasons God included rest as one of the Ten Commandments. Look at the great detail God goes to explaining rest.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

God doesn’t need rest. He doesn’t sleep nor slumber. And yet He modeled for us resting on the seventh day.

When there are no deadlines to get everything done we constantly feel like we have to get everything done all the time. It’s chaos. It’s madness.

The truth is we aren’t as busy as we tell everyone we are.

We all make time to waste. Whether it’s watching TV, checking Facebook, or doing other unproductive things, we make time for what we truly want to do. The problem is often what we want to do isn’t the thing that brings the most value to those in our life, and ultimately to us.

I think about this in regards to vacation. Before vacation I have to complete two weeks worth of work. Somehow I find the time to complete twice the amount of work. Why? I have a hard deadline. There isn’t any time to waste. I’ve got to get it done so I can enjoy my vacation.

The Sabbath wasn’t meant to be a legalistic rule that bound us. It was meant to protect us. It’s like a vacation for your week.

Get all your work done for six days so you can recharge on the seventh.

It’s hard to enjoy family time when you are thinking about your to do list. It’s hard to accomplish a task well when you are thinking about all the other tasks you have to do. At times I think the exhaustion from thinking about all we have to do causes us to do nothing.

What if one day a week was prioritized to recharge and be with family?

What if no one in your house worked on this day?

No homework.

No chores.

No catching up.

Simply enjoying each other’s company.

What if we used the six days of the week to make sure we got everything done. What if we protected one day a week to recharge and simply be with those we love?

Maybe God was on to something with this whole resting thing. Like everything in life, if we don’t plan for it we will never get around to it. Would you be willing to try it out for a week or two?

What’s your biggest excuse to not having a true sabbath? What would it take to prioritize your family for one day this week by getting all of your work done during the other six days of the week?

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.


  1. Ricky Anderson
    April 18, 2017

    I am so very guilty of this. Sunday may be a non-work day but it’s definitely not a restful day, by our own design.

    • April 18, 2017

      Ricky, I can be guilty of it as well. Sunday is a work day for me. Saturday is family day but it’s often not restful. Between kid’s sports, activities, birthday parties, and then house hold chores Saturdays are pretty full.

      I was convicted of this on Sunday. My daughter wanted to play and everything in me just wanted her to watch TV. I didn’t want to miss the moment. She invented a game and was really excited about playing it with me. So we played. Far too often I am not fully present in those moments.

  2. April 18, 2017

    What is amazing is that Inhave son misinterpreted this during my life. Now, I don’t want to do heavy work, but there are some things that Inhave that recharge me. I love to get outside and tinker. I love to throw baseball with my (grown) son while we listen to a baseball game. We do all we can to focus on spending time with church family and physical family. It’s a good time.

    • April 18, 2017

      That sounds like a good time. How’d the wedding go?

      • April 18, 2017

        It was great, but prepare yourself now for your turn.

  3. Beth Turner
    April 19, 2017

    I’ve actually done a fair about of thinking on this subject. I tend think of myself as “lazy” if I’m not “busy.” I have to remind myself that my value is not the things I do or the busyness I feign. Also, I desire to be emotionally available for the people in my life and if I’m wrapped up in my own busyness I miss a lot of opportunities to be present with them. The struggle is real.

    • May 2, 2017

      Beth, thank you for sharing that. I appreciate your authenticity.

  4. Lindsay Enzor
    April 19, 2017

    Oh my, this is so me. So busy doing nothing. Truth is, we make time for our priorities. I’ve got lots of growing to do.

    • Beth Turner
      April 19, 2017

      Yes, I think we all do. Talking about it is part of that growth, don’t you think? We remind each other because “we forget.” That’s why God has given us each other. That’s why we “do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together” as Paul encourages us. I think for us modern day saints that includes texts, posts, blogs, etc. lol. Have an awesome day Lindsay!

    • May 2, 2017

      Lindsay, me too!

  5. Tamra
    April 19, 2017

    Sad thing…. my son has been and keeps telling us this! Thank you for this important reminder.

    • May 2, 2017

      Tamra, my pleasure. Thank you for reading and commenting.


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