Some of the things we mess up are obvious, but others are more subtle. Stephen Covey in his book First Things First says it this way: “The enemy of the best is the good”. How often do we miss out on doing what is best because of something that is good. One of the problems is that we have never really spent any of our time deciding what is best. Another problem is that we get so caught up in being like everyone else that we ignore what is best. A third problem is that what is best is not what is easy. A fourth problem is that what is best is not the thing that is most demanding or urgent. I am sure that there are more, but this is sufficient to get us thinking.
Take a look at the chart below which is also taken from the book mentioned earlier. As you look at the chart notice that every activity that takes our time will fall into one of the four categories: Important-Urgent, Important-Not Urgent, Unimportant-Urgent, Unimportant-Not Urgent. These are the only four possibilities. Allow me to give some illustrations. The phone rings. This seems urgent. There is something about that sound that drives us to answer it. For some it is not possible to let it go, but let’s consider the possibilities. If it is a telemarketer wanting to sell us something we don’t want it is neither important nor urgent, If it is a weather alert telling us about a flash flood watch it may be important, but not necessarily urgent. (I have received 3 such calls this year and not been flooded yet. But it is good to know about the possibility). If it is a family member calling to tell you about some special deal online to get a $10 gift card for $5 that ends in 5 minutes it is urgent, but not important. If it is someone calling to tell us that a loved one is being rushed to the hospital because they stopped breathing that is urgent and important.
Sometimes there is something that is so important that it over rules something urgent. Several years ago I was awakened in the early hours of a Sunday morning to the news that something dreadful happened to a church member who was 4-5 hours away from home. Sunday worship was not cancelled because of this urgency. I did not leave to go check on this member because I had to teach, preach, and worship God. I was preparing to leave after worship when I got the call that there was no need, it was too late. When the family got back home I spent a good deal of time with them comforting them and helping make arrangements for the funeral. Now worship does not seem that urgent. People often live with the attitude, “There will be another Sunday next week and the week after. I don’t have to go this week, but this _________________ (fill in the blank with: ball game, concert, wedding, funeral, tournament, etc.) is only this Sunday.” I know a young man who makes quite a good bit of money in professional fishing. Many of the tournaments are over the weekend and because of his conviction to not compete on Sunday, but rather go to worship God, he probably loses some of these tournaments. If he continues to live by these standards I doubt that he will regret it at the end of his life, but if he sacrificed them to win one he probably would regret that.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.