Lists! They’re everywhere! Eight steps to successful parenting. Three steps to determine if you partner is cheating on you. The four things you need to remember when buying a house. Ten ways to impress your boss. Five ways to romance your spouse. (Or were those last two the other way around?)
But, is life really as simple as following a list?
I have to admit, there’s a part of me that likes a good list. Nothing will get my attention quicker in line at the grocery store than a magazine with the headline, “Four Simple Steps To Help Your Spouse See How Wonderful You Are!” (By the way…it didn’t work.)
Maybe that’s why there’s another part of me that believes it’s too simplistic to boil things down to simple lists. It boils information down to fast food bites, while ignoring the context and complexity of things.
So which is it? To list or not to list? That is the question. As with most things in life, the answer is a little bit of both. We can use lists to break down information into bite size chunks that we can organize and remember. Yet, we need to remember that life is not always simple, and as such there are times when we need to think more deeply and broadly than a simple list.
Now, take this to another level…
Proverbs 3 gives some important advice for living a good life. The psalm doesn’t list this advice in a bulleted list, but it does speak of four tasks that are a part of living a good life. These tasks are broad enough to encompass the complexities of life yet simple enough to provide a sense of “do-ability.” What are those four tasks? Let me give you a list. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)
- Trust God
- Pursue Wisdom
- Care for Others
- Avoid the Wicked
That’s it. The good life in a list. Who would have thought it possible.
Sound too simple? Try it, and you’ll find these” simple” tasks are broad enough to keep you busy for a life time.
Leave a comment and tell us whether you’re a list person or not…and why?
Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg