Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tyranny of the Urgent

I saw this sign yesterday morning when I took Kaity over to the college, and it got me thinking. Ahhhh, if it were only true.

Wow, I thought about this a LOT yesterday.

Warning - I'm feeling "deep" today...

Time is the great equalizer, isn't it? No matter who we are, we all have the same 24 hours every day. It's how we choose to use them.

For awhile now, ever since discussing it in a Bible study a few years ago, I've tried to pay more attention to the "important" rather than the "urgent." All too often the urgent is more demanding, or seductive. It wrangles away my time, and the important didn't get done, or at least done well.

Important is starting my day in prayer and remembering my priorities: God, husband, kids, job..... those are the biggies. There seem to be a million other things that fill may day, but all too often they are not important.

Doing the things and chores that are important to my family, that is important. Reading every email that comes in immediately is urgent, not important. They can wait. So can the phone, the answering machine can pick it up.

Some things aren't especially "urgent" time-eaters, but where they fit into "important" is a matter of constant prayer and priority. Blogging, emails, a bit of TV, leafing through my favorite magazine - these are all big contenders for my time, but I have to remember their priority. In the grand scheme of things, how important are they? If I get to the end of the day and had time to blog, but "didn't have time" to read my Bible, then I need to take a look at where my heart is.

Did I spend time talking to the kids? Did I save time just to sit with the hubby? - or did I slave to the tyranny of the Urgent all day. Was it one of those days where I was busy all day, but really got nothing done? Not good. My time is not unlimited. I need to use it in a way that glorifies my God.

Right now, knitting actually fits into the "important." It helps me to unwind, to focus, I even pray when I knit. But, I admit there are days I give up the knitting to the even more important. And blogging is important in a way. I have met great new friends. I have encouraged, and been encouraged by other knitters - and found accountability and friendship with other Christians. You are important.

Priorities are hard.

These are just my priorities. But, time is that great equalizer - we all have the same 24 hours every day to use. Don't be a slave to the urgent, remember the "importants" in your life.

25 Comments:

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Charity said...

Thanks for the good reminder, Lynda. The battle for priorities is ongoing, especially when our priorities are so different than that of the rest of the world. It really is so easy to fall into the "urgent" trap.

 
At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Kaye said...

Hi Lynda,
I've been reading your blog for a while but have never commented. I'm not sure why I've been holding out, but I'm getting into the swing of things now. I've just started my own blog and I read quite a few and have been envious of the connection that you all share. It's a little scary to put yourself 'out there'.
I just wanted to say thank-you for your post today. I have been battling with this exact issue lately. You have it completely correct. I love how we are sent a 'word' when we really need it.

 
At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Kirsten said...

Excellent thoughts. Urgent v. Important is a daily struggle for me...I'm just so inherently lazy and selfish! It's amazing what some quiet prayer and worship a the start of the day does for my "efficiency" and priorities. In fact, maybe that's what I need right now.

Thank you for your depth. :O)

 
At 12:16 PM, Anonymous ruth said...

i never really thought between the difference between "important" and "urgent"... but it makes so much sense. priorities always need a check every once in awhile. thank you for the reminder!

 
At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Beth said...

You've stated so well what's been on my heart lately. Thank you!

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger Theresa said...

Lynda, yet another wonderful, thoughtful post. Your blog is such a blessing in a world of knitting blogs. Somehow you hit - so eloquently and succintly - so many of the things I've been thinking about lately after moving cross-country, being far from family, starting internship, and developing new relationships - no grand conclusions, in my life, but your post added a new way of thinking about it. Thank you.

 
At 1:58 PM, Blogger Lorette said...

Lovely reminder, Lynda. It's unfortunately true that many of the things that we spend our days doing fit more into that urgent but not important category.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Thanks for getting "deep" and sharing from your heart today. I can so relate to this struggle. It's so easy for me to get lost in the moment, in the busyness of the day. It's not until I lay down in bed at night that I'm able to see my day and use of time more clearly. I am constantly praying that I would be able to see things through His perspective throughout the day... and not just at the end of it.

BTW - Some knitting time is a priority for me as well. It's my creative outlet and source of sanity!

 
At 4:50 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for another thoughtful and thought provoking post!

 
At 4:53 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I loved this post. I always lived my life based on what I thought was the "urgent". Then my sister became very sick and I've learned to live my life based on what is important in life. What I thought were my priorities have changed...it's amazing how one event can can your whole perspective on life.

I too knit to relax...and often find myself having "talks" with God while doing this. Through all this I've learned that housework and dishes will wait...my son will only be 17 for a short time. That is a priority.

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger amylovie said...

Thanks Lynda for helping me refocus. You quite eloquently put in to words one of my biggest problems.

 
At 7:24 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks! I've needed that reminder lately, especially with the hustle and bustle of school starting soon. I think we'll spend a fun, non urgent day tomorrow.

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger Marsha said...

Thanks for your boldness. I, too, needed prompting to refocus my priorities. I spend too much time on the "urgent" rather than the "important" many days. When we're gone, we won't be remembered for all the "urgent" things we did. I'm sure your thought-provoking post will hit deep in the hearts of some of those out there who are not in the "choir" and that's IMPORTANT!!

 
At 8:08 PM, Anonymous heather said...

You've written exactly what I had been feeling last couple months. I felt like the days just whipped past me, I didn't get anything done, and I needed more time with my family.
It feels really good to put the important things first for a change, instead of fitting them in. I don't get to knit or blog as much, but it's worth it.
Thanks for bringing it up. :)

 
At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Mary-Kay said...

Lynda,
You could have added this very sentiment to my "Deep" post. This is so what I could have/should have added to it. You HAVE encouraged me and made me see what I've been trying to put into words. EXCELLENT post. EXCELLENT.

 
At 2:21 AM, Blogger opportunityknits said...

Thanks for a thought-full post. Just what I need to keep things in perspective in the middle of a hectic week.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Boy oh boy! I have this in my head all the time! I need to print this post out and hang it all over my house! Awesome post!

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger AngeliasKnitting said...

What a great post today! Very well put. Thank you!

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger Isela: Purling Sprite said...

Beautifully said! Thank you.

 
At 6:25 AM, Blogger mamma said...

Thank You. I needed this today.

And so eloquently written.

 
At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Lynne said...

And, it's interesting that lately, the more I pray and am in God's word, the more I feel the sense of "urgency" about doing what it "important." Even as Christians, we can take our focus off what God would consider urgent...to live as Christ so that we can share Christ...for we all have but a limited time here on this Earth. I love your thoughts.

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Just what I needed to read. Especially with the beginning of school and the crazy schedules that drop in our laps. Thanks for reminding me to do what's important. The urgent stuff will still be there tomorrow :)

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger Gina L said...

You are so right! I was just thinking about posting about this topic as well. The pressure I used to put on myself to complete the to do list was crazy. 98% of the list was unimportant and self indulgent. The blessing in me being sick over the last year was that I was forced to slow down. I saw that God's love was all around me and I had skimmed over so many aspects of life. I have finally learned to stick to my priorities.

 
At 12:29 PM, Blogger Mercy's Mama said...

AMEN! God doesn't want us to be stressed and attempting to be all things for all people. He wants us to love him first, all the rest will fall into place. So often times I will catch myself going through a checklist of sorts in my time with the Lord, "Ok I read a psalm, ok I read a devotional, ok God this is what is happening ok God gotta go now." Keep putting Him first!

 
At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Sue said...

I apologize for my late comment to this post ~ I just came across your blog. Thank you ~ truly ~ for sharing your thoughts on time. It especially hit me where it hurts (which is good) when you stated that if you made time to blog (or fill in the activity), but didn’t make time for God and/or your family, then your heart is not in the right place. I needed to hear this today. Thank you and many blessings to you. I have enjoyed reading your posts today. I’ll be back! :-)

 

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