See if this sounds familiar.

You begin your day with a few minutes in Scripture, prayer, and making a list of tasks you want to accomplish during the day. You list them in order of importance. As you close your computer, shut down your PDA, or fold the list and put it in your pocket or purse, you feel good about the day ahead. Off you go to the office.

As you walk into the office your secretary greets you with list of messages ... several have the "Return call" box checked. As you attempt to make the calls, while also checking your email, you get a surprise visit from someone who just wants to "catch you up" on their life. Forty-five minutes later you are caught-up ... and feeling way behind.

Around noon you glance at your task list and realize you have not accomplished a single item, so you consider skipping lunch or eating at your desk. Just then you get a call from a friend at church asking if you have some free time. "Sure," you say. You tell your secretary you are going out for a quick bite. You did not understand her smile when you told her whom it was you were meeting, but when you returned an hour-and-a-half later you figured it out. She smiles again and tells you that you have someone waiting to see you ... if you have time.

Now, you get back to returning calls. The number has increased. The rest of the afternoon is spent trying to read and respond to email, making phone calls, working on a project with a co-worker, having a cup of coffee with a struggling friend and running a few errands.

The whole day goes pretty much the same.

The unexpected.

You get home in time to play with the children in the early evening, visit with your spouse, and even have a pleasant conversation with one of your neighbors. Dinner with the family is enjoyable. The children are in bed, you watch the news, check the sports channel, and flip to the Weather Channel to see what tomorrow will look like.

Before retiring, you pull out your tasks list. Of the ten things on your list you've checked off one item. You take pride in the fact that you did make it to the bank on time. You add another item or two to the list for tomorrow. You look at the list, give a deep sigh and think, "Where did the day go? I had all these plans, all these things I needed to do today and my list is now even longer. What happened?"

Where did the day go?
Then, you recall the words of Jesus from the verses you read early in the day:

He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward. (Matthew 10:40-42 NIV)

Then, you remember the prayer you prayed after you read those words: "Lord, please use me today to bless others, as you will."

As you lay your head on your pillow, your tasks list for the day still largely undone, you honestly pray: "Lord, thank you for a good day."