What's in a Name?

Ecstasy (n)- 2. Excessive joy; rapture; a degree of delight that arrests the whole mind; joy may rise to ecstasy. (Websters 1828 Dictionary)
Doldrums (n)- A sate of inactivity or stagnation.(Dictionary.com)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Tyranny of the Urgent

N. O. Two letters that don't like to make an appearance in my vocabulary very often. Such a small word, yet it can change much. Just what is it about that word that makes it so hard to speak?
I've always been the one who is quick to say "yes" to almost everything asked of me. Some would say that was selflessness. But I know it for it's real face. It is pride. You may think that a bit harsh, but it's true. The root of my inability to politely decline things is due to the fact that I want to be well-liked by people. I don't want them to think ill of me, so I automatically say yes.
Soon the amounts of little yeses add up to a big pile of things that consume my time and keep me from some of the necessary and more important things in life. This is what I've heard referred to as the "tyranny of the urgent." These little requests pop up everywhere and they need to be done a.s.a.p. So they take the place of those things that you know you should be doing. 
There is a song by Sara Groves that helps me remember to say "no" sometimes. Here are some of the lyrics:
There's always just one more thing
There's always another task
There's always "I just have one more small favor to ask."
And everything is important
 And everything is now
I wonder what would really happen if I stopped somehow
"I'll be there in a minute"
"I've just a few places to go."
You wake up a few years later and your kids are grown
And everything is urgent 
And everything is not
At the end of your life your relationships are all you've got
And love to me is when you put down that one more thing
And say "I've got something better to do"
And love to me is when you walk out on that one more thing and say
"Nothing will come between me and you"
Not even one thing
I'm not saying that we should always say "no." What I am saying is we should carefully weigh our yeses in light of eternity. Will this one more thing I'm doing count for eternity, for God's kingdom, for building up a person in Christ, for developing a relationship that will be glorifying to God? There are times when I am spending hours on end working on a project for someone or something that I deem important, yet at the same time neglecting to take time to answer a small question from my brother or a light request from my parents. That is tyranny!

We could all stand to say "no" to some of the things we are asked to do and say "yes" to those things which are important- most importantly your relationship with the Lord. If He is getting pushed on the back burner, you know something has got to change. Cry out for wisdom and direction, and God will give it to you (James 1:4). 
I've heard it said that it is better to do a little well, than a lot of things merely satisfactory. "No" gives us this opportunity. This doesn't mean that we should stop doing things for others. Just make sure you have the time, it is not encroaching on your family and that it is done with the right motives.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
~ Ephesians 5:15-16

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