Led by the Tyranny of the Urgent - Managing Life's Demands AND God's Calling

Photo by Volha Flaxeco

Photo by Volha Flaxeco

Do you ever struggle with getting to God’s calling and getting things done that can’t seem to wait? I do. All. The. Time.

If you are like me then you have family, job, church, friends, job, family, job, things that get sprung on you, job, family and all the things you feel God is calling you to do on your plate at the same time. Yes, I know I repeated the job and family a few times, but you understand what I mean, don’t you?

I mean everyone in the house needs to eat (multiple times a day), they need clean clothes, they need some quality time after you’ve worked all day at your full-time job. You sprinkle in church and maybe a little time with friends or the kids activities take up the rest of your time daily and weekly, yet you have the unction from the Holy Spirit there is more He has for you.

Take a breath. That’s right, just breathe. Slowly inhale - hold it - now slowly exhale. And again… Feeling just a little calmer? I hope so. Repeat as necessary.

We all struggle with the demands of life. Often there is more thrown at us than we can possibly deal with, but we have choices to make.

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Colossians 3:2 ESV

I don’t believe that this verse teaches us to shirk our earthly responsibilities. But rather in all that we do, do it for the Lord.

In my case, I believe God has been calling me to write for a long time, but I didn’t even realize it most of my adult life. I am now working from home full-time with my children grow and out of the house. My husband is retired and we are entering another very busy phase of life. In case you’re wondering, we are moving to a more quiet place, with a smaller house and fewer responsibilities. Not so we can play more, but so we can serve more. We feel that God is calling us to serve together on mission trips and service in and around our home. So He has made a way we can let go of some of the earthly things that have held us captive.

So let’s talk about being led by the tyranny of the urgent. Most of us know all too well what this is like. Before we can complete one thing the next thing is calling us and before we know it we’re exhausted and can’t seem to accomplish any one thing fully.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Take some time to consider the season of life you are in right now. If you have children still at home, is there any greater calling than bringing them us in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? I think not. So all that you do for your family you are doing for the Lord. If you know God is calling you to be a full-time missionary, do it in such a way that your children also embrace the calling. If God is calling you to serve or start as service, do it and include your children. But know this, God wants to use you where you are in all of the capacities that He chooses.

This means you’ll have to say “No” to some things. Those things may even be good things like teaching a Sunday School class or playing an instrument. Trust me when I say I know the pressure others can put on you because they want you to use your gift in their ministry.

Yes, there are things that have to be done. Housework is never ending and needs to be done. Jobs are required in this life because it takes money to live. But you don’t have to scrub every inch of your house with a toothbrush to do a good job cleaning and you don’t have to accept every offer of overtime on the job. You can do a good job and serve Christ in your home and your work AND serve in the areas He is calling.

You may know that your call is to be an author. But you still have to work a job full-time, so writing is a slow process now. You know that one day, writing will become the main thing. So do what’s needed of you now AND develop the skills you need to serve in the capacity that the Lord is calling you. Trust me, He is using you now in the very calling that you are called to do.

I hope this makes sense. Don’t be led by the tyranny of the urgent, but do identify the season of life you are in and how God is using you in this season. Do your best for the Lord now right where you are. As you read scripture, you may think some of the heroes of the faith just up and appeared a hero. If that’s how you see it, read their stories again.

David was told as a boy that he was going to be king of Israel - even anointed as a boy. But it was YEARS before God made him king. After David was told of his calling, he remained a shepherd; he killed a giant as a teenager (because God had taught him to stand before lions as a shepherd); then he grew into a warrior under the king whose place he would take; he lived a life on the run from the present king and developed a following, so he learned to be a leader- all the while knowing God’s call on his life was to be the king of Israel. Don’t you see God was training David for the role God had long ago told David he would serve in?

Squash the tyranny of the urgent. Identify what has eternal importance. Do what’s needed with eternity as the focus. Accept the training program God has you in at the moment.

I would love to hear how God is using you now and where you feel He is leading you! Leave me a comment or email me directly. Our God is at work around us and in us!