You may be wondering how the Topical Bloggers come up with the weekly topics. Actually, it is quite simple. Blogger Becky has graciously accepted the role of
moderator of the group. Her responsibility is to let us know what the weekly writing should be about. To make it easy for everyone involved (and easy on herself) she
periodically asks the bloggers to submit several suggestions, puts them all in a hat and, by random drawing, sets the calendar for as many weeks as she has suggestions for. Some bloggers will use the topic as an actual topic. Me, the "topic" is often a prompt. For example, last week's "topic" was "Priority Mail." Well, I sort of wrote about that...
This week's topic is "I lost my list." Yep, that was an actual topic that was truly and honestly submitted. I know, because I'm the one who gave the suggestion. When the last round of topics had run its course back in August, I wrote several suggestions on a piece of paper, and, naturally, promptly lost the list. When the time came for Becky to set the calendar and she
threatened me with bamboo sticks under my fingernails
politely and patiently asked for my suggestions, the first one I gave was "I lost my list." And that is how we got this week's topic.
What can be said about losing a list? If your name is Eileen you might say "I lost my list and now I stand upright."
(you can stop groaning now.)
Lists can be helpful to help us remember things and be productive throughout the day. There are To-Do lists, Bucket Lists, Priority Lists, Christmas Card Lists, Grocery Lists, Honey-Do Lists, even The Book of Lists. Realtors have MLS Listings. You can make a list, check it twice, add things to it, and feel good when you cross something off when it's completed. And of course, you can lose a list, but don't let that make you feel listless.
When you're outstanding at something, you are said to be on the A-List (for example, movie stars who work well and are big box office draws make the A-List). But woe to you if you cause severe embarrassment, scandal, or are affiliated with the wrong crowd! You may find yourself Black-Listed, never to work in this town again.
If you've ever lost an important list, you know the
uneasy feeling of having to recreate the list, especially if you need to recreate it on the spot. For example, try remembering all 120 names on a Wedding Guest List! Hopefully you won't leave someone out and end up on their Sh.... Never mind - it's not a good list to be on. Not as bad as being on someone's Hit List, but still not good.
Which brings me to ponder, what kind of list does God keep? I'll tell you what I believe about that pondering. I believe that God keeps two lists: an A-List and a Hit List. The A-List (in the Bible it's called the Book of Life) is the list of who will be allowed entrance to heaven for eternity. The Hit List, well, that's everyone else. They get life in hell - apart from God's love - for ever and ever and ever. But how can someone know for sure which list he is on?
God, being holy, has a standard of perfection, and heaven is a place that meets that standard. But if heaven is a perfect place, how can a perfect God allow imperfect people (I'd say that's me and you) to enter without making tainting its perfection? In other words, how can something 100% perfect still be perfect if it has any imperfection in it? Even 99.9% pure is 0.1% flawed, and no longer perfect. We all do wrong things; we all have sin in our lives. Wouldn't that, by default, put us all on God's Hit List?
True, our sin keeps us from being in good standing with God, and there is nothing we can do on our own to change that. That's where Jesus comes in. The apostle Paul teaches us in the book of Romans,
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person*, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (Romans 5:6-11, NLT)*
even an upright person such as Eileen
It is our decision which of God's lists we are on. It has nothing to do with how lengthy your list of accomplishments is, or how short your list of errors might be. God isn't impressed with those lists. Choose to accept Jesus as Lord over your life, and you choose the A-List. Don't, and you're on God's Hit List. The playing field doesn't list to one side or the other. It's level for everybody. Simple as that.
Now to find that original list ...