Focus on the Important, Not the Urgent
By Rick Warren
— January 6, 2014
“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” Ephesians 5:16 (NLT)
I’ve got good news and bad news for 2014. The 365 days you’ll be given next year aren’t enough time to do everything. But here’s the good news: God doesn’t expect you to do everything. God has given you just enough time to do everything he wants you to do.
That’s why it’s so important for you to set goals for 2014. Goals help you focus your life. Paul models this in 1 Corinthians 9. He says “I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something — not just the air.” 1 Corinthians 9:26 (NCV).
Paul had a purpose. You need one, too.
Too many of us focus our lives on unimportant causes. Trivial Pursuit isn’t just a game; it’s a description of our culture. Most of what’s going on in our world today won’t matter in a week—much less for eternity.
Most people can’t tell the difference between urgent and important. Urgent is almost never what’s important. We set aside our family time, our time with God, and our friendships for the urgent matters that almost never matter for long.
Goals are a great antidote for the kind of life that chases the urgent rather than what’s important. Goals will focus your energy.
For example, if you made it your goal to get healthy in 2014, that decision will focus your energy on that task. Any time you try to get healthy, you’ll be tempted to skip a workout for more sleep or eat junk food.
But a goal will focus your energy on the important task of getting healthy. The Bible says, “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” Ephesians 5:16 (NLT).
Set some goals. Make the most of 2014. Don’t waste another year on the urgent rather than the important.
Talk It Over
What are some urgent but unimportant tasks that have filled your time lately?
What changes can you make in your life to maximize the important and minimize the urgent?
What are some goals in the important areas of your life that should be prominent in 2014?