Take a moment to think it through: perhaps, like me, your first answer may differ from your last.
Sometimes the urgent takes priority over the essential. But it’s hard to tell the difference – and harder still to get them right.
Here’s some of the things that matter to me:
Friendships. Bible study. Family. Paying bills. Flossing. Christmas. Marriage. Sleeping, eating, exercise. Time with the Lord. My hair. Church. Pets. Writing projects – ongoing and one-offs. Fertility/baby stuff. Speaking opportunities: personal and more general. Shopping. Sharing my life and faith. Encouraging Glen to eat more vegetables.
Okay, now ask me to pick out the ones that feel most urgent.
Deadlines. Paying bills. Christmas shopping – and my hair.
These are the things I daydream/worry about. This is what my diary – and my bank balance – says is important.
It’s not that everything else doesn’t matter. Of course it does. But something’s gotta give. So, ask me: How’s my relationship with the Lord?
I’ve got an answer. Look, life is busy and – some of it is Ministry. That’s right: Me helping God. No time to spend with Jesus – not when I’m talking about Him so much.
Same with writing. I got a lot to say – especially about messy stuff like eating disorders and managing emotions and recovery and life and how the gospel speaks into every area of existence.
Talking about living can replace living itself. And if I point to Jesus but don’t actually go to Him… then the truth is, I have nothing to say.
My ‘ministry’, appearance and bank balance. They’re not nothing. But they’re not the essentials.
Here’s the non-negotiables: knowing Jesus and my relationships. So, while I smuggle broccoli into husband’s dinner it’s over to you –
What are the essentials? And what are the urgent things that crowd them out?