The tyranny of the urgent


As I sat on a reclining chair in the calm, peaceful morning, I looked to the western sky.  It was crisp and clear blue.  The mountains were majestic and tall, as they have been for eons and ages.  A half moon sat alone up high, framed by the blue sky.

As is common along this crossroads of the air, a jet liner cruised above from west to east at a very high altitude, leaving behind a contrail that annotated its path across the morning sky, some 5 miles or so above the earth’s surface where we mere humans dwell.

Suddenly it dawned on me.

That jet was pointed directly at the moon!

Traveling fast and furious, the people on board were unaware of their peril.  In a few moment’s time, there would be a spectacular mid-air collision!

However, the jet speedily passed through the moon and continued on its east-bound way.  There was no collision.  Another catastrophe was avoided.

The moon in its lunar orbit around our earth sits about 250,000 miles away.  It is preposterous to think an aircraft within our atmosphere would ever collide with such a great mass separated by such a great distance.  However, there is a lesson here to be contemplated.

When things are close to us, when life is busy and moving frantically, we get caught up in that motion and activity.  We become too anxious, too concerned, too controlling.  We can easily focus on that which is moving rapidly, the urgent, rather than that wich is important, that which truly matters.

The big, important things in our lives may appear far away and not urgent.  They cross the skies of our lives at a much slower progression.  They aren’t as urgent – yet they are far more weighty in the big schemes of things and need to be dealt with.

The urgent passes by and is gone and forgotten.  The important is steadfast; it remains ahead of us.  It waits patiently for a time, but eventually we need to deal with the important.

We need to spend more time and effort focusing on the important.  Each day we need to invest in that which matters, before a crisis arises or those things pass away.

Your health

Your family

Your friends

Saving for the future

Working within your passion

Don’t be distracted by the urgent on your path to the important.  Those things that are rapidly moving and noisy (social media, breaking news broadcasts, fashion trends, or keeping up with the Jones) are not too important in the big scheme of life.  They are all transitory – they really don’t matter.

Your health, your spouse, your children, your friends – our relationships – they do matter.

How about you?  How can you be more focused on the BIG THINGS in life?

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About John Forrest