The Value of A Checklist

There is a little as disconcerting as to be too far from home to turn back and begin remembering needful things you left behind. A trip can be spoiled in a hurry, although it is helpful if your destination is high class enough to have a Wal-Mart Superstore! An acquaintance tells me, “If you can’t get it at Wal-Mart, you don’t need it.”

After year of this, we began making a checklist of things to take and things to do in preparation for being away. A recent checklist contained things like: Have paper stopped; notify P.O. to hold mail; call about rental car; pick up cleaning; ask neighbor to feed horse and cats; pay bills; get bulletin articles for two weeks; make deposits at bank; buy cat food; make last minute hospital visits; etc. It is comforting to finally get a line drawn through each item signifying it has been done.

A number of good spiritual checklists are given in the Bible. One is found in II Peter 1 where we are commanded to add to our faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Verses 5-7.

Too often we have a vague intent of doing something about these qualities someday. But we do not systematically go about checking them off periodically for growth. How much faith do we have? Is it more or less than a year ago? Is my self-control more pronounced than before? Is my patience in better shape or do I pray: “Lord, help me to be more patient. And I don’t mean next year!” Is my love, agape, more like the Savior’s? Does my checklist reveal that, may it not be so; I have lost ground with the development of these qualities? That’s the value of a checklist.

Some folks get more excited about taking a vacation trip than they do about taking the big final one! They give it more attention and anticipation. They get more enthusiastic and give more attention to details. They plan more for a trip to Yellowstone than they do for Heaven.

A good checklist could have helped!

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