Tyranny of the Urgent
“Now!” is the demand of the urgent. Like your phone ringing. The dishes in the sink. Clothes to be washed. The yard that needs to be mowed. One more thing to finish at the office before heading home.
To which a lot of us dutifully responds with a “Yes!”
Recently, I was reminded to distinguish between the urgent and the important.
The important things are things that we really need but often neglected, set aside because of the insistent persistent demand of the urgent. Important things like spending time in prayer and God’s Word. Spending time with your spouse and children. Attending Sunday worship. Life-on-life time with your small group where you laugh and eat together, cry and pray together, learn together, minister together, worship together, hurt and rejoice together.
Once, while flying recon with the Strategic Air Command, we experienced an explosive decompression at about 35,000 feet. The speed and violence of the decompression, which occurs at a rate swifter than that at which air can escape from the lungs, typically in less than 0.1 to 0.5 seconds, caused the plane to shudder violently scaring the heck out of the crew. A heavy fog immediately filled the interior as the relative humidity of our cabin air rapidly changed and condensed. The risk of lung trauma is very high, as is the danger from any unsecured objects that can become projectiles because of the explosive force that sounded like a bomb going off.
All I could think of was that I wish I had kissed Edie longer before I left. How I wished I could have hugged our children a little tighter and told them more how much I love them.
Facing death has a way of making it easy for us to make the distinction between what is urgent and what is important.
Moses understood this and so he prayed, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
When we consider the brevity of life, we are more likely to make wise decisions about what is important and what is urgent.
Some people who have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and who suspect that it is important to have a relationship with the living God put off taking Jesus seriously because they are too busy with the urgent, fun things in life. Two things they miss: only God knows how much time they have, and that the most fun they can have is enjoying the life of Christ living in them.
It is important to know this truth.
Ed Jones pastors Fellowship at the Ranch Church at Robson Ranch. This nondenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Visit Fellowship’s website: www.fellowshipattheranchchurch.com for information.