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