BY REV. DUANE LARSON - SPIRIT LAKE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
If you're like me, you're probably pretty good at making lists. I can name my favorite foods, movies, teams, players, places, songs, ad nauseum. I can do the opposite as well.
For example, my least favorite food is onions: I don't like them and they don't like me. We can do the same with people and the characteristics we like and don’t like. I bet you have a list of your favorite people and probably least favorite too. It's something we humans do, whether we realize it or not. Even the Apostle Paul was a list maker.
In the 16th chapter of Romans, Paul begins with an introduction on behalf of Phoebe. He goes on to say hello to a whole list of people who are important to him: Prisca, Aquila, Epaenetus, Mary, Andronicus, Junia, Ampliatus, Urbanus, Apelles, Aristobulus, Herodian and many more. These people had done something to get on Paul's "list. "
By being his friends, family, supporters, and workers, they had impacted Paul's ministry of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How awesome it is to be on Paul's list.
One thing about list-making is that it can be extremely self-centered — my favorites, my likes, my opinions, my dislikes. We pay close attention to who is on our list of favorite or most influential people, the people who have made or are making a difference in our lives.
But maybe we should pay attention to who's list we are on. Who you are making an impact on? We often get so focused on who is on our list we forget that our lives make an impact every day. People do pay attention—they hear what you say, they see what you do, and they need your friendship and caring. Perhaps it might be time to ask, "whose list am I on?"