I'm a list-maker. I derive a great deal of satisfaction every time I pull a solid line of ink through an item on my "to do" list. Sometimes I add items that I've already taken care of, just so I can see how much has been accomplished. And when every single item on my list has been blotted from existence? -- (I'm giddy just thinking about it) -- now that's something to get excited about. I get to toss the whole thing in the recycling bin, never to face that same list again. It's done.
Now, I find that I'm at a crossroads here. It has occurred to me that I can follow this inky train of thought in two directions. One path leads to the blessed reminder that Christ has blotted out every one of my transgressions. When I confess my sins, He is faithful to forgive and cleanse. I write them on the list, he crosses them out -- with His cross -- and they're history. Done. He will never bring my faults before me and say things like, "Oh, but remember that time you got really mad at Avery for pulling apart the puzzle that you and the kids had started?" No. He has removed my sins as far as the east is from the west.
The other path acknowledges that some things are never done -- at least not here on earth. I felt a distinct pang when I realized that my children, although usually polite and respectful, would not automatically remain that way without continued guidance and training. I thought that I had crossed that one off my list: Obedience? Check. But it keeps showing up again and again, no matter how many times I try to triumphantly blot it out.
I am finding, however, that the two paths naturally bend and slope in harmony alongside each other. It is because Christ has blotted out my list of transgressions that I am able to address that other "list" -- the one that never ends. The list that includes attributes and fruit and lifestyle choices. Take "gentleness" for example. I sure wasn't able to mark that one off today. (Remember that delightful scene in which Avery reveled in puzzle destruction? Mama was angry.)
But this list -- this lifestyle -- isn't burdensome. At least it isn't intended to be. When I walk with Jesus, sharing the yoke He has fitted just for me, it's light. I have His Word on it. He is the strong one. He carries the bulk. I get to join Him and experience that strength firsthand. It's when I lag selfishly behind or race impatiently ahead that I place more of the burden on myself than He has intended.
And that is the key. I must daily ask Jesus to draw a line through the sins that keep me from enjoying a close fellowship with Him. As He draws His blood-stained line across my life, I feel the pressure lift. My walk is light. It is as it was meant to be. It is not always easy, but it is blessed by His presence. And I know that one day I will look back with my Savior and proclaim with joy that yes, indeed, my list is done.