Every morning I wake up with The List. It shakes me from sleep like a bolt of lightning across a dark room. As I struggle to get vertical, a ledger of what I’ve done (and more urgently, what I’ve left undone) crowds my consciousness. Write X. Contact Y. Don’t forget to touch base with Q.
The List shows me the idols of my familiar: deadlines met; meetings accomplished; connections made. My worth hangs too much on these things. In Martin Luther’s explanation of the First Commandment in the Large Catechism, his description of idolatry hits home. “That to which your heart clings and entrusts itself is, I say, really your God,” he writes. Those words convict me.
Sometimes I feel like a would-be disciple from the Gospels. When Jesus beckons the disciples to follow him, they turn back to bury a father, to say goodbye, to finish plowing the row they’ve almost but not quite finished. Until they turned away from everything else that made them feel important or accomplished or dutiful, they couldn’t turn toward the promise standing in front of them.
This message is adapted from “Coffee!” written by Martha E. Stortz that first appeared in the September 2018 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember Antony of Egypt, renewer of the church, who died around 356, and Pachomius, renewer of the church, who died in 346.
Do you enjoy these free Daily Grace messages? If so, donate now to further the ministry.