Jesus' Guide to Time Management

When I read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People several years ago, the book illuminated for me the difference between urgency and importance.

It’s basic, really, but every item on your to do list can be any combination of urgent and important. Just because a task is urgent—Dancing with the Stars is on television right now—doesn’t mean it’s important.

Crispy (CC)

The problem is urgent tasks have a way of making themselves seem important, when in fact, they have no lasting significance. Mowing the yard, while urgent, is probably not all that important. In a few days, the grass will be tall again. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mow your yard; there are consequences to not mowing, like unwanted bugs, scorn of neighbors, lower property value.

But in a time-deprived culture like ours, often the important stuff gets neglected because the urgent items scream at us all day long. What kind of tasks am I talking about? Which ones are important?

2 Things You Should Ask for This Christmas

Did you ever really really want something, only to be left wanting when you actually got it?

One Christmas my brother and I begged my mom to get us a Nintendo Gamecube. She kept telling us no, but we kept persisting. Finally she said she would buy it, but she wouldn’t have any Christmas money leftover to buy us any games. We agreed, counting on Christmas money from grandparents. 

Kate Ter Haar (CC)

Christmas morning we unwrapped the cube in ecstatic joy. We hooked it up to a television in my brother’s room and set the system clock and fiddled with other settings. We had managed to scrape together enough money to purchase a game for the system, but it would have to wait until stores opened the next day. So we sat on the bed, marveling at every detail of the console.

On December 26, Mom carted us to Walmart where we victoriously slapped down the $60 plus 8.25% sales tax for Luigi’s Mansion, one of the Gamecube’s launch titles. Mom wouldn’t drive home fast enough. We burst the doors open, furiously tearing through the cellophane packaging of the video game. We carefully clicked the mini disc in its spindle, fired up the system, and off we went. Our video game dreams had come true.

Sixty dollars was quite a bit of money for us jobless kids. But we thought it was well worth it to buy the game. The graphics, sound, and controllers were unlike those of any Nintendo system we’d seen before. We played the game all day, morning until night, making major headway in our efforts to rescue Mario from the ghosts. The next morning though, something awful happened.