Life is busy. The busyness runs over into our marriage, our parenting, and our friendships. Busyness has left our souls parched and our hearts empty. Think back over this past week of how many times you said to someone or to yourself, “I don’t have enough time” or “I wish I had time.” Lack of time has left us thirsty. The author of Ecclesiastes says that everything has its time: “A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted” (Eccl. 3:2). There is a rhythm to life. Life has a cycle that has been set in place by God. Our lives are marked off by what happens at particular times. For the writer, the thing that separates the fool from the wise is knowing what time it is.
A lot of our busyness can be attributed to not knowing the difference between the urgent and the important. Some live for the urgent. It makes them feel useful when they spend our days putting out fires. It makes them feel powerful. However, life in urgency mode can become the excuse for not dealing with the important in our life.
Urgency is a part of life. A car needs repaired, illness happens, a teacher walks in class and says, “We are having a pop quiz,” a friend needs a place to stay, someone losses a job, or death comes to the family. Urgency is a fact of life. The problem is when urgency becomes the dominant force in your life.
In the three years of ministry, it is amazing that Jesus did not get caught up in the urgent. There was always a son in need healing, a daughter who was sick, a leg that needed fixing, eyes that needed to be opened, or a relationship in need of mending. In Luke 9:51 it says, “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” It was in Jerusalem that he would complete his mission of redemption. Starting in chapter 9 we read over and over how he was determined to get to Jerusalem. On his way he taught, healed, ministered, and performed miracles. He responds to the urgency on his way to Jerusalem. But he doesn’t let the urgency take away from what is important.
Have we? Have we let the urgent take away from what is important? If we let urgent control our time, we will never get to our Jerusalem. Our Jerusalem is our purpose. It is the reason we are here. It is living out God’s plan for our life. But it will never happen if we always live life in reaction mode.
Focusing on the important keeps us from being left thirsty by the urgent.