I needed to hear this yesterday, as I skipped out on some lectures to finish up a Word Study Paper. I slipped into one of the afternoon sessions, where the speaker was talking about Pastoral/Ministerial priorities, when he mentioned this book. What a great quote!
“Have you ever wished for a thirty-hour day? Surely this extra time would relieve the tremendous pressure under which we live. Our lives leave a trail of unfinished tasks. Unanswered letters, unvisited friends, unread books haunted by quiet moments when we stop to evaluate what we have accomplished. We desperately need relief.
But would that longer day really solve our problem?”
– Charles Hummel, The Tyranny of the Urgent
I know the extra time wouldn’t help – I’d still be a stressed out, anxious wreck right up to the last minute before the assignment is due. But what I needed yesterday wasn’t “quiet moments”, but loud, rowdy moments with my wife and two children climbing all over me, wrestling, tickling each other and laughing to get some of my priorities re-aligned. I was struck through this speaker, and this quote, to something I heard Mark Driscoll mention on a talk given to church planters about there are really only 7 things anybody can really focus on in life – 7 priorities. What amazed me was that he listed the responsibility of being a pastor at number 5. After you know that you’re alive and healthy, connected to God, loving and in love with your wife, and loving and shepherding your children, then its time to tackle your responsibilities as a pastor.