Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tyranny of the Urgent

I am having one of those weeks where I need more time!   I am on the Board of Directors for the Texas Association of Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and we have our Annual State Conference this weekend.  This is one of the big things we plan for all year!  

Of course, I was sick last week and continue to be sick this week, so I am behind on my tasks.  I have errands to run, doctors appointments, a presentation to finish, bags to pack, etc.  How am I going to get it all done?  When I am faced with days/weeks like this, I often find myself anxious and frustrated.

For me, the first thing I tend to push aside are my quiet times with the Lord, which should be the LAST THING to be ignored.  This shows the sickness of my heart and how my priorities need to be realigned. 

Thankfully, today I had a small victory.  I forced (yes, I had to consciously make myself stop working on the "urgent" tasks) myself to sit down and have my quiet time.  Afterwards, I was so much more peaceful and felt more capable of conquering the rest of this busy week.

Weeks like this remind me of an article called Tyranny of the Urgent, by Charles E. Hummel.  I wish I could copy the entire article for you here, but it is rather long.  

Here is the introduction: 

Have you ever wished for a thirty-hour day?  Surely this extra time would relieve the tremendous pressure under which we live.  Our lives leave a trail of unfinished tasks.  Unanswered letters, unvisited friends, unwritten articles, and unread books haunt quiet moments when we stop to evaluate.  We desperately need relief.
     But would a thirty-hour day really solve the problem?  Wouldn’t we soon be just as frustrated as we are now with our twenty-four allotment?  A mother’s work is never finished, and neither is that of any student, teacher, minister, or anyone else we know.  Nor will the passage of time help us catch up.  Children grow in number and age to require more of our time.  Greater experience in profession and church brings more exacting assignments.  So we find ourselves working more and enjoying it less.

Do you ever feel this way?  I know, I do!  

Hummel suggests that instead of running ourselves ragged with all of the small, insignificant tasks in life, we should prayerfully consider each decision that we make.  We should be sure that we are focusing on what the Lord want us to do, instead of just doing the tasks that WE think are important.  We often talk about prioritizing our lives, but are we living this out day-to-day?  If someone looked at our lives, what would they say our priorities are?  Do we truly evaluate our time, as if it were the Lord's and not our own?  

I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.
John 17:4

Here is a link to the complete document of Tyranny of the Urgent!  
It is a MUST read!  


  1. girl, i needed to read struggling in this area big time. i adore you

  2. whew thats good. so good. thanks for posting!