The Tyranny of the Urgent
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”1
I don’t know what it is like for you (though I am confident that the same is true for you) but oftentimes it seems as if my life is controlled by the tyranny of the urgent. That is, there never seems to be a day when something unexpected comes up that needs attention … something is broken around the house … a friend is in need … and with all my computer, email and web work there is a never-ending flow of problems that need fixing.
As I have said to friends, as long as you own a home there always seems to be something that needs fixing. In the last two weeks we have had a refrigerator break down, a water line break, and have had more computer problems than I can count. All these issues are very time consuming and make it difficult to keep up with one’s work load. But that’s life and these things can become very stressful if we allow them to.
Besides the suggestions for coping with stress in last Friday’s Daily Encounter, every day I like to remind myself of, and daily thank God for, all the incredible blessings in my life. I constantly thank God that as a child my parents took me to a church and Sunday school where I heard and accepted the gospel. I thank God for health and strength and the ability to work hard, for a roof over my head, a comfortable bed to sleep in, for hot and cold running water, a great church, loving friends, for the incredible opportunity of being able to publish the gospel worldwide, and most of all for a loving wife and family and for the wonderful privilege of being a part of God’s family through no merit of my own. And I know that all of these blessings from God are only the tip of the tip of the iceberg of God’s never ending blessings.
Living with an attitude of gratitude turns my problems into challenges and makes them infinitely small in comparison to all the blessings I daily experience.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please open my eyes so that I can clearly see all the incredible blessings You have so freely given to me and may I always have a grateful heart for these. For one more blessing I pray: and that is that You will give me an eternal attitude of gratitude. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV).