We all have an ongoing to do list, whether we are a business owner or employee. That is just the nature of work!
As Christian women at work, it can be tempting to just plow through our lists without taking a moment to pray over them, and to see them from a Godly view point.
When we look to His Word for direction, we discover that God looks at things very differently than we do, and loves to guide us to do things in the way which will give Him the most glory.
In Exodus 18, we find Moses, the deliverer God raised up to lead His people out of Egypt, now spending his waking hours as judge from morning till evening. All day, every day. His father-in-law Jethro was visiting him, and made a few wise suggestions to Moses after observing him at work.
What Moses was doing was good (serving as judge) but how he was doing so (on his own) was not. Jethro wisely commented that this work, serving a nation of over 1 million people (and growing!) needed a new PLAN of action. He recommended that Moses continue to teach Israel God's ways, and show them how to live & behave. However, he was to train up trustworthy, capable men to serve as a team of judges to handle the every day simpler cases, and by doing so, share the load with Moses. Moses would keep judging the difficult cases, but a team alongside him to help. Jethro reminded Moses to pray about this idea, which would mean less strain on Moses, but also greater satisfaction for those seeking justice. Things would run much more quickly and smoothly with this change by implementing a new PLAN. (And they did!)
When I was attending Bible college, one of my classmates rarely attended class, which was 10% of the course grade. He decided to put that time into his main paper, worth 35% of his grade. Somehow, he also missed that the exam was worth 55% of the course, and not an open book exam as he mistakenly believed. In his worrying about putting together a good paper, he didn't pray about it, contact the teacher or reread the syllabus to confirm that was the best course of action. His PERSPECTIVE was skewed, and as a result he had not studied enough for the exam, nor attended class enough for his combined grade to equal a pass. In his panic about a paper due in the future, he forgot to deal with what he needed to on the day to day, which was to attend class, and set up a study schedule for the exam.
God reminds us in His Word that we need:
"not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34)
By spending time with Him in prayer, and seeking wise counsel, we can avoid falling into panic mode and missing vital items we need to complete on our to do lists.
As we seek God's input on how we are to PLAN how we are to tackle our tasks each day, we will begin to see things from His PERSPECTIVE, especially if we have wise advisors seeking Him on our behalf. I have three questions that I ask myself each time I look at my to do list, to help me PAY ATTENTION to HIS PROMPTS.
1. What has to get done today, as it has a set deadline?
Mark these tasks with a star so you don't miss them, or rewrite your to do list on to a daily calendar so you know what day to do what task when they have a deadline.
2. What do you need to do, and what should you delegate?
Don't forget that those judges who joined Moses in serving their community would also have been using their gifts for God's glory. Team work makes the dream work when it comes to business!
3. Where is God stirring you to pay attention?
Is it a relational (customer complaint, staffing problem) or technical difficulty which you need to deal with in the present? Ask Him to make you more aware of His prompts, so you will be more productive as you work.
There is an African proverb which I used to put into practice at work:
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
I no longer believe the first part is applicable unless you are a runner! I believe that if we want our businesses to thrive and grow, we need to do so together with a team.
With God directing the plan, as we following His lead by each doing our part, and paying attention to the bigger picture from His perspective.