Saturday, October 31, 2015

the essential.

The steady rain and thunder keeps us inside this morning. But it's quite okay because sometimes we need that. We need slow mornings to lazily get out of bed and sip coffee as we read a book that started to collect dust. This is what fall is for.

I've been thinking a lot recently about priorities. A mentor once told me to make a list of my top 5 priorities in life... what are the five most important things to me. I never actually took the time to write these things down, but I could easily tell you what they are. And as I think about those things, I feel a mix of emotions. I feel some guilt because my priorities and what I spend my time on doesn't match up. I feel sadness knowing that things that are so important to me continually get pushed to the side. I also feel glimmers of hope knowing that it doesn't always have to be like this. I have the ability to change.

The reality is I don't prioritize things in my life in the ways I would like to. And I would also venture to say that you just might be able to relate to me in this. We put time in to things that don't really matter to us and we don't give enough time to the things that do.

I'm currently reading The Ragamuffin Gospel (which I've been reading for months now, hence the dust on the book). In it, Brennan Manning says,
we are so caught up in the urgent that we forget what is essential. 
Wow. Yes. The urgent being teaching these standards to mastery in just two days, making sure I am wearing the latest fashions, getting caught up on social media, cleaning the house... the list can go on. There are so many things in our lives that are urgent. We must do them today, right now or people will be disappointed in us. Or we will be out of the loop. Or whatever the case may be. The urgencies take precedence in our lives and we feel pressure when they don't.

But what about the essential? What about calling my best friends to tell them how my week is going and ask them about theirs? What about reading the book of life? What about taking time to love my husband to the best of my ability? What about spending time with my family... sending a gift of gratitude... stopping to help a stranger?

These are essential. These matter. What I think I'm in need of the most is a shift in perspective... a shift in priorities. I want to see the things that matter, I want to do the kingdom work, I want to grow spiritually and be filled by the giver of good gifts.

Maybe the things that are urgent to us are so because they are fleeting. In due time that lesson is long forgotten. In due time that fashion is out of style and laughed at. In due time the house is dirty again and the fridge is empty and the nail polish is worn off and my book is still collecting dust.

You see, the urgent are only important today. Tomorrow they are forgotten about. But the essential are everlasting, imperative, and will not fade.

So on a rainy Saturday I fall on my knees, begging for grace and pleading for a shift in perspective. May the urgent be set aside and the essential take precedence. May I find myself spending more time on the things that are lasting and less time on things that are fleeting.

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