The Demand of the Urgent

Lately I have been thinking about how everyone (including myself) seems to be in a hurry. And when I ask people how they are doing, their answer is often “I’m busy.”

The other day, as I was driving over the Ravenel Bridge, I watched a car weaving in and out of traffic, only to end up no further down the exit lane than the rest of us. The driver’s get-ahead strategy simply did not work. And I wonder if we are similar in our rush-rush-way of trying to get ahead but left feeling like we are going backwards on a tread mill.

I used to tell my kids when we were traveling: “Let’s play the quiet game”. It was great until they caught on to my plan to keep them quiet. Then it wasn’t fun anymore! Years ago, I decided to play the game myself; to slow down and be quiet; not giving in to the demand of the urgent or the need to be high-energy, keeping life on high volume.

At first, it was strange and annoying. I had gotten used to a pace that became so habitual that a slowed-down-version of me did not seem normal; a pace that pushed my capacity to see and hear what God was doing. Eventually, my experiment, meant to be just a few days, became a way of life for me. Still being high energy, but beginning each day, very early, in stillness and solitude with the Lord. I chose to start my day by centering on Jesus and listening to His still small voice. Scripture came alive for me and opened my ears and eyes at the start of the day to expectantly look for God moments during my day.

Here is what I learned:

There is nothing so urgent that can’t wait unless it is a life or death situation.

Solutions are most often discovered in quiet contemplation, not energized determination.

Hope is found in the moment of reflection.

Light is not only found at the end of the tunnel, but can also be found inside the tunnel.

Friends, our society has driven us to distraction, kept us in a hurried state and closed our eyes and ears to the beauty of God’s creation. We have been hindered in our relationships and are searching for peace amidst the maddening pace. The demands of life can be intense, but the demand of the urgent is often a ruse.

We must be able to evaluate what is important and needs attention, and what is crying out for our attention and can wait. As a Christian, Christ lives within us and His words to his disciples indicated that His sheep (that’s us) will hear His voice. 

So together, let’s make a decision to follow the Prince of Peace and tune in to His quiet voice. Our lives do not need to be chained to the urgent. We can live differently.

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