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Issue 004

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks you
have to complete? The volume of work they represent is enormous. Each task seems to be shouting ”do me!” “finish me!” or at least “start me….!” They all seem important and urgent. Sometimes several seem to be critical. “If this doesn’t happen by…. then we are all in trouble.

It is a feature of the digital age that incoming requests can be labeled for immediate action or urgent reply. Not many years ago information was confirmed by letter and took several days to arrive. Now the pigeon-holes are inboxes and the postman is your modem. Twenty-four hour global markets, whilst great for late-night shopping, mean molehills of work can become mountains overnight. Everything matters.

There are many themes in the message of Jesus Christ. One such was his constant challenge to all around him to find out what really mattered and concentrate on that. So a man is told not to bury his father, but to let others do it. Fisherman are told to leave their nets and fish for people. Martha is told not to be distracted by many things.

Jesus himself tells His followers he is going to preach rather than heal on one particular day and on another occasion when a dispute breaks out about baptism, of all things -nothing changes, Jesus refuses to get involved and simply leaves. To thousands on a hillside He says “Seek first God’s rule and right way of living.” So in his words and in his life he knew how to focus on the important issues.

But in your head are a thousand voices: your boss, your customers, your team, your competitors, are all shouting for your attention. In the real world the voice of the Carpenter is merely one amongst many. And here is our problem. Maybe today if you ask him what he considers to be the most important matters he will show you. Ask him what matters and what should be left. Ask him to help you find the task, the people, the issues that really count and give them your attention. But you say “I could lose my job, my income or my livelihood if I don’t give my attention to everything.” Jesus’ challenge to seek his way also comes with a promise: other things will be given to you… such as food, clothing and housing. You never see it on time management courses, but praying to be shown priorities should be rule number one. Jesus knew how to run his own life and he will show you what matters. What matters now is that you ask.


Matthew 6: 33-34

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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Tags: asking, boundaries, delegation, prioritising

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Geoff Shattock

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