Why You Should Celebrate Your Undone To-Do List

If you’re anything like me, you keep imagining the seemingly unattainable Nirvana of a totally completed To-Do list. Every item ticked, crossed off, deleted, and crushed under my feet.

For most of us though, the everyday reality is an ever-growing To-Do list – not just running to stand still, but running to sink further into the sand – and all the frustration, disappointment, and self-flagellation that accompanies it.

Well, I think I may have just found a way to turn this daily self-torture into a cause for praise and rejoicing.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer makes a To-Do list every day, prioritizing what’s most important each day. And instead of getting overwhelmed by the long list of items left unfinished at the end of each day, she celebrates the fact that she never finished her list.

“That would mean spending lots of time on relatively unimportant tasks,” Mayer explained. ”If I did [get to the bottom of the list] it would be a real bummer,” Mayer said. “Because think about all those things at the very bottom of your to-do list that really shouldn’t take time out of your day.”

Genius!

Now, just have to explain this new approach to the “Honey-Do list” to my wife.

See also: The Amazing History Of To-Do lists And How To Make One That Actually Works 


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10 Times It’s Wise to Hold Your Tongue
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Thoughts on Preaching and Logos 5
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Turning the Pages
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If you could go back in time, what would you tell 18 year old you?
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Is New York City on the Brink of a Great Awakening?
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ChristCare v Obamacare

It’s easy to criticize Obamacare, both in its principles and practices – in fact, it’s doing a good job of criticizing itself these days. But what about the far more difficult work of constructing an alternative? There’s no question that at least some of the motivation behind Obamacare was good – the desire to reduce costs, widen access, and help those with pre-existing conditions. So how would a Christian healthcare alternative (ChristCare?) grapple with these problems? Let me propose twelve biblically based principles.

1. Charity: As part of our Christian duty to love our neighbor as ourselves, ChristCare would provide some level of healthcare for those who are uninsured or uninsurable. Although none would be denied basic healthcare, a just distinction in services offered would be made between those who are sick and poor through no fault of their own and those whose personal choices have made them ill.

2. Responsibility: ChristCare would call people to take personal responsibility for leading a healthy lifestyle. It would prioritize health education, disease-prevention, and financially incentivized accountability.

3. Reality: We cannot all get access to every medical treatment. Just because a drug is available does not mean its affordable. Just because something can be done does not mean it should be done. We need to recognize that we are mortal, that we are not going to live forever, and we must also learn to live with some measure of pain and discomfort at times. Otherwise, we could easily spend every last cent on medical treatment. ChristCare would propose realistic basic levels of care for different ages and illnesses.

4. Liberty: Although basic levels of care would be available for all, ChristCare would allow people the freedom to choose the level of health care and cost that suit their situation and circumstances.

5. Morality: ChristCare would not fund birth control or abortion. It would also reduce expenditure on diseases that have been brought on by sexual immorality, drug abuse, and other sinful choices.

6. Efficiency: ChristCare would be vigilant in driving down waste, inefficiency, and corruption in the provision of medical services and the associated administration.

7. Locality: As the “cultural mandate,” Babel, and the Great Commission demonstrate, God opposes centralization. Probably due to the increased dangers of corruption, God encourages the spread and sharing of power. Churches, schools, and other local organizations would be encouraged to be involved in health education and even the provision of some basic services.

8. Fallibility: While holding doctors and nurses accountable for serious malpractice, ChristCare would accept that a level of mistakes and errors are always inevitable in a fallen world and would implement policies that would minimize lawsuits and reduce excessive compensation payments.

9. Simplicity: Obamacare’s major accomplishment to date has been to make an already complicated healthcare system even more so. My wife is a doctor and even she is frequently baffled by the complexity of the American healthcare system. For even the simplest of procedures there seems to be a blizzard of paperwork and bills. ChristCare would aim for a streamlined simplicity.

10. Honesty: Hospitals seem incapable of estimating even to the nearest thousand dollars the cost of routine operations and even of basic tests like colonoscopies. Ask for a quotation and you’re told you have to phone about a dozen hospital departments to figure out everyone’s slice of the pie. This lack of transparency means that patients cannot compare prices in a way that would create a competitive market. ChristCare would be open, honest, and transparent about costs in order to drive prices down.

11. Equity: Without going down the Obamacare route of national price controls, there needs to be some way that patients can get redress when overcharged for medical services. Recently my wife had to take our baby to the local children’s hospital. She was there for about 20 minutes, questioned by a nurse for about 5 minutes, and the baby examined by a doctor for about 2 minutes before being given the all clear. Cost? $750! Thank you. Don’t mention it. ChristCare would establish independent mediators to advocate for patients and establish fair pricing.

12. Spirituality: ChristCare would take the spiritual dimension seriously and provide holistic care for the body, the mind, and the soul.

These are only principles of course; the practical details would take a huge amount of time and thought to work out. (See Dr Carl Ellis Jr.’s Alternative HealthCare System  for a much more detailed proposal). However, by measuring every proposal and practice against these principles, I believe we would get much closer to a universal and affordable healthcare system.


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How Monk Mode is the Key to Insane Productivity
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Tom Ascol: “As I recently reflected on the last thirty-five years I wrote down some lessons learned and convictions I’ve come to or continued to hold. Here are thirty-five of them.”

The Godward Struggle of Ordinary Parenting
Been there. Am still there.


Is the Obamacare Debacle an Answer to Prayer?

God sometimes answers prayer in strange, mysterious, and even fearful ways (Ps. 65:5; Rev. 8:4-5). Perhaps we are witnessing one of these “awe-ful” answers in the present Obamacare debacle.

“What? You mean you prayed for Obamacare to fail?”

Yes, many Christians did, and for good reasons too. It’s not just because of the mandates that required employers and individuals to fund abortion, sex-change operations, life-killing contraception, etc. It’s also the deeper and wider principle of lost freedom and personal choices, especially when the thief of that liberty is an increasingly intrusive government that is displaying growing hostility to Christian faith and practice.

Secular Saviors
Some hoped that the 2012 election would stop the juggernaut; others looked to the Supreme Court; and some even hoped that the government shutdown would lead to an Obamacare shutdown. But when neither Mitt Romney, Chief Justice John Roberts, nor Ted Cruz proved successful saviors, many gave up all hope and could see no way of deliverance from this nation-transforming legislation.

Little did anyone think that President Obama would destroy it all by himself with lying promises, gross mismanagement, and incompetent leadership. It looks like a house of cards in a hurricane at the moment.

This is not coincidence. This is providence. It appears that God has answered His people’s prayers in a most unexpected way, in a way that no Republican gets (or deserves) the credit for, and in a way that may set back “progressive” liberalism for years. Even if some aspects of Obamacare do eventually get off the ground, the President’s loss of popularity and credibility has fatally weakened his pro-abortion, pro-homosexual militancy. God is not mocked.

“But don’t you care, and doesn’t God care, for the uninsured and for people with pre-existing conditions?”

Of course I do, and of course He does. (And how I wish more Republicans would share, show, and speak of that care too).

However, while Obamacare would have helped a percentage of the uninsured and the uninsurable, the moral, social, and financial cost was far too great. It may have started out with good motives but it was hijacked by “progressives” to fundamentally change public and private morality, to transfer wealth from the rich to the poor, and to transform America into a more government-centric and government-dependent society.

Hear the cries
But as we thank God for hearing the cries of His people, let us also now hear the cries of the uninsured and the uninsurable. This is a huge opportunity for conservatives to show what real compassion looks like, not just in words, but in policies, and action. Where is the conservative leader that will stand with these suffering and needy people? And where are the conservative policies that will fill this vacuum and provide justice for the weak?

For that matter, where are the Christian voices? With very few exceptions, all I’ve heard is “Stop Obamacare,” but how about “Start ChristCare.”

I’m convinced that if the Old Testament Prophets were living today, their passion for justice and their compassion for the oppressed would produce powerful sermons against our self-centered disregard for the suffering in our communities, and against our obsession with our premiums and our deductibles.

Jesus also repeatedly demonstrated his compassion for the sick by his healing miracles. We don’t have His miracles today, but we can have His heart and He’s given us His money.

President Obama would be well within his rights to turn around to us and say, “Well at least I tried. What have you done?”

ChristCare Principles?
Why can’t Christians and Christian churches step up and provide mercy ministry to those who cannot get insurance due to pre-existing conditions or the high cost of health care. Or at least we can outline the Christian principles of caring for the sick and the poor so that our politicians can have some biblical guidance to formulate a policy that will work.

What would be the basic principles and practices of “ChristCare”?  I’ll try to answer that tomorrow, but in the meantime I’d welcome your thoughts and ideas.