This image is a “To Do List” from one of my all-time favorite musicians (and an Arkansan) Johnny Cash. The list was sold at auction in 2010 for $6,400. I really wanted this list, but not just because I’m a huge Cash fan. I wanted the list because it gave a simple, yet life-changing example of priorities.
Item #2 and #9 really stood out to me.
2. Kiss June
9. Go see Mama
These lines show that Johnny Cash valued relationships. He valued them so much that he was willing to carve time out of his schedule for them. He made sure that his to-do list included investments in those relationships.
My “To Do List” had a lot of tasks, but not too many relationships.
It’s easy to say that I invested in relationships even though they’re not on my list, but that’s not the truth. As I looked at past lists, I can remember weeks that were so busy that I actually damaged relationships rather than building them up. Something had to change.
After seeing the list from the Man in Black, I started intentionally placing relationships on my to-do list. I now have a Task column and a Relationship column.
I try to make sure that the Relationship column is equal or greater than my tasks each week. It may be a phone call to say thank you or a lunch meeting with a volunteer to share how God is moving, but I want to put forth some type of effort to invest in relationships.
I’ve entered into one of the busiest “task” times of my life. I have to admit that the tasks are wearing on me. But for every new item in the Task column, there is also a new Relationship that I get to invest in. For a relational guy like me, this has sustained me and energized me more than ever.
How can you use your “To Do List” to value relationships?