Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tyranny of the Urgent

Do any of you remember that? It was a little pamphlet published by IVP and written by Charles Hummel in 1967. (Wow! I am aging myself!)
In a 2004 editorial, Gordon Govier refers to Hummel's article and says:
' The issue, Hummel said, is not so much a shortage of time as a problem of priorities. Or, as a cotton mill manager once told him, "Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important."The essay does not offer three, five or ten bullet-points of a program to get our priorities back in order. Instead it points to the Gospel accounts of Jesus who never seemed to be in a hurry, even when his friend Lazarus was dying. Quoting Mark 1:35, Hummel saw the secret of Jesus' life and work for God in that "He prayerfully waited for His Father's instructions." The headline for this section reads "Dependence makes you free," and Hummel quotes P. T. Forsyth, "The worst sin is prayerlessness."

It's something I have thought of different times over the years but this week I have really been feeling under some kind of tyranny - spiritually, that is. You know, when there are so many urgent AND important things that MUST be done that you don't even have time to sit down and prioritize. Never mind sit down and pray about it. Part of the problem is that I am so much unlike Martin Luther. I think it was him that said "I have so much to do today , I think I will spend the first few hours in prayer." Maybe if I was more like that, I would not feel so frazzled. I need to learn to 'prayerfully wait for my Father's instructions'. Anyway, I don't have the energy to go into details but for those of you who pray for me, please pray that I will be able to focus and find my centre and my strength and my wisdom in Jesus.
" His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption that, just as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." - 1 Corinthians 1:30,31

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