Stewardship of Life

Important things to do

Posted in It's Personal by Robert Blezard on February 17, 2010

This winter has brought record snowfall to much of the Northeast, and in the Central Pennsylvania town where I live folks are weary from trying to shovel and plow fast enough to keep up.

hourglassMany of us have the same tired feeling just trying to keep from being buried by the blizzard of daily demands on us. But every once in a while something happens to put it all into perspective.

For instance, there’s the day I had not long ago.

My day was already planned: I would make breakfast for my kids and take them to school, then meet with local colleagues. After the meeting I’d zip into the hospital to see Mrs. X, then another hospital to see Mr. Y. Then I would be back to the office for worship planning, phone calls and catching up. Pick up the kids, take them to dinner and back to their Mom’s, then return for a night meeting.

But the phone rings just as I’m out the door for the morning. Mr. Y’s condition is worsening. Can I come right away? I tear up the to-do list and drive to the hospital. The family is distraught. Mr. Y has left no advance directives. There are end-of-life issues to discuss and heart-wrenching decisions to be made.

The medical staff is caring and diligent, but they need to know how to proceed. And soon. They are tactfully, gently, but steadily urging the family to decide.

For the next few hours I do what pastors do: I listen, give feedback, pray, listen, give feedback, pray.

As I leave, one of Mr. Y’s family thanks me with a smile and hug. “I’m sorry we took you away from your work.”

I reflect on the meeting missed, the visit not made, the planning not done, the phone calls not returned and task of catching up more daunting than ever.

“There’s nothing more important  I had to do,” I say truthfully.

How do you decide what’s important?

2 Responses to 'Important things to do'

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  1. Virgil Gibson said,

    I guess I’m guilty of Not Deciding What’s Important. A quick review of my recent calendar entries would reveal how I’ve spent my time: work, church, community activities, devotionals, time with spouse, etc. None of those are bad things of course, it’s just that I didn’t ‘plan’ for them, I just did them. It is a very rare event that I actually decide to do one thing over another, unless the ‘other’ is doing nothing, which I usually fill with TV. So I get a little uneasy with questions relating to how I prioritize my life. Maybe therein lies a challenge. Is it being a good steward of my time to just go with the flow?

    • Hi Virgil,

      I’d say it’s OK to go with the flow? I’d say yes, as long as the flow is taking you where you need to go and where God needs you. It sounds as if you have already decided what’s important and prioritized things pretty well because you PLAN in your calendar time with church, work, spouse, devotionals and community. You’ve already made a decision that these are the things to do.

      In what little free time you have, you choose to fill with a little TV. Can I tell you a secret? I do, too. I love The Daily Show and a couple other programs. I put them on DVR and watch them whenever. It works.

      Blessings, Rob

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