Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Urgency of the Unnecessary

Lately I have been struck by my perspective on everything.   I find that in the preparation for a deployment, a move, or a birthday, I become introspective and more open to change.  (Apparently I need a LOT of development considering how many deployments, moves, and birthdays, I've encountered over the past 7 years!) 

As the food critic says in "Ratatouille" regarding his meal for the evening, "I'd like some perspective." So here's my dish for you...

What is the purpose of my day?  What are the interruptions, and what are the important moments?  Often, my to-do list determines what must be accomplished...but is that what truly NEEDS to be accomplished?  As a wife and Mom, I believe my mission is first to my family, and then to the rest of the world...but do my actions show those priorities - or do they show something different?

Unfortunately, I have had the blinders pulled off to uncover where my priorities  lie. (I say unfortunately because it really is quite uncomfortable!) My primary mission as "Mom" right now, is constant parenting. (You know, the kind that makes you late for pretty much everything!?) Yet, often I am upset or annoyed by the tantrum, selfish attitude, drama, and well-rounded sin-nature I see displayed by my little ones. If I truly believe my mission - my task - my purpose, is to "Train up a child in the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6), then shouldn't I be thankful for the moments of PARENTING...and annoyed at the interruptions of dishes, laundry, phone calls, cooking, cleaning, and all the other things that often eclipse my primary calling?  (Although I really shouldn't be annoyed at those things either - I should be thankful in ALL things! But more on that another day!)

How many times in a day do I tell my girls, "Not right now - Mommy must..." ? But in reality, what "must" Mommy really do?  Will the world fall apart if that load of laundry isn't put away in the next 5 minutes?  Is the toilet being cleaned more important than sitting down and answering a question from my child about the world, about God, about family, about life?  I am not advocating neglecting to care for your things - I firmly believe we are to take care of every item God has placed in our care! - but I am questioning the level of importance placed on those unnecessary things that feel so utterly urgent.

A child's heart doesn't just automatically turn towards their parents -or their Maker -  by osmosis.  It takes careful attention...and a LOT of time and effort. 

The challenge for me then, is this: In all my racing around, am I actually accomplishing ANYTHING of importance? Or am I just hustling because the unnecessary things in life so easily eclipse everything else with their seeming need to be accomplished NOW?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

Copyright 2010


  1. There's a little book, called, "The Tyranny of the Urgent" that helped me a lot. I am so thankful for the emphasis on caring for people's souls rather than laundry, clean house, etc. Thinking about what will eternity show to be the REALLY important things? is the key. Hope your blogs help you and others. Love ya!

  2. you are right on the nose with that one whitney! I have done a lot of thinking on just the same topic with much of the same conclusions as you have. my stubborn mind still feels that the cleaning is priority simply because a dirty house makes me mad. although - you are perfectly right. not to mention, you word it much better.

  3. Wow, Whitney. I needed to be reminded of that. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading your thoughts.

  4. thanks guys!! If you have any ways that help you keep your focus away from "sweating the little things" - I'd love to hear them! :)
    Jane - I will have to read that book. Thanks for the recommendation.


Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement!