13 If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; 14 then you shall take delight in the Lord…” -Isaiah 58:13-14 (ESV)
Run here; run there; do this; do that…uggghhh! When does the ride stop? Life can get way too busy…I mean that out of control kind of busy, very fast! This can happen without us even realizing it. As ministry leaders in the age of Facebook, Twitter, church/ministry websites and blogs, iphones and ipads, it can be overwhelming to ALWAYS be reachable. At first it wouldn’t seem that having your pastor at your fingertips would be a bad thing, unless of course YOU are that pastor! The purpose driven church/ministry can become the urgent driven church very quickly! The underlying sense of urgency can be one thing that makes stress found in the job of a pastor or ministry leader so different from other jobs.
When working as a corporate training instructor, my manager once handed me a book entitled, “The Ten Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management” by Hyrum W. Smith. In the book he describes the difference between “vital” (I call it important) things and things that are simply urgent. A telephone ringing is urgent, but if it winds up being a telemarketer the likelihood of it being really important goes way down. The ringing phone says, “pick me up! pick me up!” like the song from Foreigner, “URGENT! URGENT! URGENT! EMERGENCY”, but there may be more important issues that you need to take care of at the present moment. Important things too often become a slave of the urgent in our life.
This book also talks about how we have four quadrants to plan our days/weeks/months/years. In the first quadrant you placed those things that were urgent and important. In the second quadrant you placed things that were important, but non-urgent. In the third, you placed things that were urgent and unimportant, and in the fourth were things that were unimportant and non-urgent. The quadrants helped me to see every day what was important for me to accomplish that day. It also allowed me to remove the guilt I felt when I ignored “urgent” tasks, when I predetermined that those tasks, while urgent, were really unimportant.
Think about it. How many times do we look at those emails, texts, Facebook and Twitter alerts each day that are really not important? I was getting those so much that I have turned off my alerts for everything except text alerts, and I even give myself permission not to respond unless it is important…not just urgent!
I encourage you to make a list of things on your calendar for this week and predetermine those things that are important first, and do not let them become a slave to the unimportant urgent things that get thrown at you. Remember, just because it is urgent doesn’t make it important! I’ll be posting again soon about Sabbath Rest and how important it is for everyone, but often gets overlooked by many busy pastors/ministry leaders. Make taking Sabbath rest an important and urgent task to accomplish this week! You may be surprised to see that you need Sabbath rest more than anyone or anything “needs” you. Contact us and find out how to find rest…today!