Without wanting to be misunderstood, let me say unashamedly that I love the grand old hymns. Throughout my Christian life, I have treasured their historic statements of the church’s faith, having committed many of them to memory.
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They have been my dearest companions in dark hours of loneliness and discouragement and my greatest encouragers in times of celebration and adoration.
And while I’m the first to admit that while there’s nothing holy about a hymnal per se, hymns remain an important part of our Christian heritage. Why?
The conflict between the urgent and the important is inescapable. How easy to get the two confused! It is common for us to think that by staying busy and working hard we’re dealing with the important things.
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But that is not necessarily the case. Those things most urgent rarely represent things that are most important. And therein lies the reason so many people today feel such a lack of satisfaction after working so hard and for so many hours each day.
Not only is that frustration true in the world in which we live, it is all-the-more true in the church. When we substitute the urgent for the important in the church of Jesus Christ, we emphasize . . .
When America’s thirty-fourth president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, began his administration, he instructed his aides and his executive assistant that there should be only two stacks of papers placed on his desk in the Oval Office.
By Юкатан (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The first would be a stack of those things that were urgent, and only the extremely urgent. The other was to be a stack of the important, and only the extremely important.
He said years later that it was interesting to him how rarely the two were one in the same. He was right.
The conflict between the urgent and the important is inescapable. How easy to get the two confused! Staying busy and working hard can make us feel as if we’re managing the important. But that’s not necessarily the case.