The Macs

Thursday, January 27, 2011

tyranny of the urgent

I first read Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles E. Hummel last year. The small group Joel and I lead had started a new Navigators series (The New 2:7 Series...SO good) last fall and part of our homework was to read Tyranny of the Urgent. I was captivated by the article after reading just the first sentence...

Have you ever wished for a thirty-hour day?

Of course. Everyone needs more time in their day, right? I know I do. So, what do I have to do to fit more into my day? I bet you want to know too. I kept reading and was so surprised and convicted by what I read. I read the article again. I read it again and underlined. The ideas in this article and where it pointed me to in the Bible became part of my longing to be more intentional this year and for the rest of my life.

When we stop to evaluate, we realize that our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically the problem of priorities.

Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.

We live in constant tension between the urgent and the important. The problem is that the important task rarely must be done today or even this week.

Wow. I thought that I was doing pretty good at keeping my priorities straight. After all, I know how short life can be and how in one day our lives can be totally turned upside down. Our time with people is precious and how we choose to spend our time is so important. But, as I sat and thought about how often I give into the urgent things, the things that are pressing for my time, I realized that I much too often let the urgent crowd out the important.

Hummel goes on to give examples from the life of Jesus.

The Gospel records show that Jesus worked hard...Yet his life was never feverish; he had time for people.

His life showed a wonderful balance, a sense of timing.

Here is the secret of Jesus' life and work for God: He prayerfully waited for his Father's instructions and for the strength to follow them. Jesus had no divinely-drawn blueprint; he discerned the Father's will day by day in a life of prayer. By this means he warded off the urgent and accomplished the important.

I want to pattern my life after Jesus. I want to work hard, yet have time for people. I want to have balance and a sense of timing in my life. I want to prayerfully wait for my Father's instructions and the strength to follow them. I want to discern His will for my life day by day in a life of prayer.

If you haven't read Tyranny of the Urgent, go do it now. I promise it is worth your time. But be prepared. It might be convicting. It might even be life changing. But like Hummel says, what could be better than knowing that this day, this hour, in this place we are doing the will of the Father?

I think I need to go evaluate my priorities again...

**Tryanny of the Urgent by Charles E. Hummel


Blogger Pamela said...

Oh, what a good post. I think even if we are doing what God wants, we can over-do it. Time is my word this year and it's amazing how many posts I read that apply to it. Thank you for doing what God gave you to do so I can be challenged and blessed.

January 27, 2011 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Rob and Corrie said...

Thank you for "voicing" this. I was diagnosed w/Lyme Disease in '03 at the age of 21. One of the most important lessons the LORD taught be thro' that time was to BE INTENTIONAL. All of a sudden I had a body that wouldn't keep up...and it turned out to be the best thing for me! My verse for 2011 is Luke 10:42..."few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." I want to CHOOSE what is NEEDED.
Love in Christ!

January 27, 2011 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Christian, Kerri, & The Boys said...

I have followed your blog since before Cora past away. I have enjoyed reading your blog. I have never really known what to say or even how find the words to write on how Cora's life touched me and how your process of dealing with it has made me want to be a better person. We are not even of the same faith, live in totally different states, yet I feel like I know you personally ( I hope that you do not think that makes me a creepo..LOL) I just felt inspired and say something finally and express how thankful and grateful I am for your loving family. I have truly come to know God more though your testimony. I know that our Father in Heaven has many mansions in Heaven and one of them is where Cora awaits for you until the crowning day. May Christ himself bless you sweet family:)

January 27, 2011 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post really hit home to me. It was exactly what I needed to be reminded of these days. I am totally guilty of letting the urgent crowd out the important. Thank you for the good reminder!

January 27, 2011 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Shellbells said...

awesome food for thought my dear...i too need to reevaluate my priorityies and the importance of the order...prayer will be going up around here so that I can get it right...thanks for the post..xx

January 27, 2011 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Cristin said...

Thank you for sharing. I love what you said regarding "Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important." It's so true. Sometimes we all need a reminder of what's important.

January 27, 2011 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Danyele Easterhaus said...

thank you for this post...thank you. a great reminder and so needed.

January 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger nichole said...

Thank you for this post. I find myself always thinking and really praying after reading your blog. I leave so inspired. My walk is better, I know!

January 28, 2011 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. My dear, we are the same age but I feel you are wiser beyond your years. I often read your blog for inspiration. thank you so much for sharing.

January 28, 2011 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Marc, Sarah, Luke, and Kate said...

Hey Jess -- Thanks for "linking" this article. I actually think Marc and I are going to use it in our small group this weekend....There are some things in the article that really "speak" to a couple of different things we've been talking about in our group.

January 28, 2011 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger jbreeden said...

did you see that he also has a book called Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent, that expands on this topic?

January 28, 2011 at 8:58 PM  

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