The Tyranny of the Urgent

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness
and everything else will be added to you

So whether we are at home or away,
we make it our priority to please Him

Matthew 6:33 & 2 Corinthians 5:9

A rainy cold spring kept me from power washing my deck until late June. Usually Steve would have helped, but the truck needed work, so he spent the entire day under the hood.

As I worked alone, I thought about a phrase I’ve heard many times, “The Tyranny of the Urgent.” We set priorities and our hearts understand what’s truly important, but the urgent tears us away. Steve’s truck was a perfect example.

Matthew 6:33 tells us seeking God must come before anything else. Sadly, the urgent speaks with a very insistent tone. For instance, our kids’ sporting events overlap worship service. Some gadget breaks and robs our quiet time with Christ. Reading the Bible tops our to-do list, but we find ourselves running late for work.

I’ve been blessed to have a Matthew 6:33 husband. Since the day he asked Christ to be his Savior, Steve’s relationship with the Creator has been a priority. Even before becoming a pastor, he postponed sleep after midnight shift to attend worship. He’s always carried a small Bible in his truck so when traffic comes to a halt or there’s a lull in his day, he can dive into scripture. And this Sunday, when his truck still needed work after that long afternoon with the engine, he went to church, preached God’s word and spent the rest of the day relaxing, visiting with our daughters and watching the grandkids in the pool.

The tyranny of the urgent screamed, “Work on that truck!” But the Kingdom of God says, “I created the Sabbath for rest, and I made you for relationships.” He spent an entire Sunday building his relationship with his Heavenly Father and two of our daughters. The urgent can wait on the important.

Granted the urgent sometimes demands our attention. For instance, Steve nearly cut his finger off a couple months ago. The urgent won that day. We spent hours in an emergency room and had to reschedule our plans for a Toby Mac concert. On a side note, they saved his finger, and we were able to transfer our tickets to another venue.

Unfortunately, sometimes in our humanness, Steve and I needlessly give into the tyranny, missing opportunities Jesus puts in our path. Occasionally we see it and get back on track, but too often we let the tyranny win. The tyranny of the urgent causes a feeling of helplessness. It feeds us lies until we cater to its demand and neglect what’s truly important.

However, when we remember to diligently and purposefully search for the Kingdom of God, we discover it’s possible to make His plans our priority. Because many times the things Christ “adds to us” are wisdom, time and freedom from the urgent.

By the way, if you liked this article, you’ll LOVE this Free Book I just published with inspiration and encouragement to help you thrive. It’s titled “Devotions to bring Peace to your Day” and you can grab it for free here


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About the author

Lynne feels blessed to know Jesus Christ. He's her Savior and her friend, and because of Christ her life is richer. So her passion has become to help others discover their full potential in Jesus so they can have the best life possible!

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