Music to My Ears

Day: Thursday, September 8th
Time: 4:40 pm
Place: Enid Public Library
Mood: H-A-P-P-Y Happy!


Busy? Tired? Stressed?

For years I have defined my life as busy. And for years when someone has asked me how I am, I usually say, “good but tired.”

I cannot count how many times a friend has wanted to spend time with me or family member wanted me to visit, but I let the fact that I am busy, tired, and stressed keep me from doing what I love more than anything – building deep and lasting friendships that lead to life change.

Far too often I am too busy doing “”stuff”” on my to-do list. Or I am tired from doing all that ““stuff””. Or I am stressed because there is so much more ““stuff”” to accomplish.

What is all this “stuff” that is taking up my time anyway and how important is it?

My lesson today in the Portrait of a Leader by Tim Elmore gave me some great food for thought. It helped me narrow down the priorities I need to say “”yes”” to so I am not always saying “”yes”” to ““stuff””. It was absolutely, and without question, music to my ears.

I don’t know of too many people who do not feel busy, rushed, tired, and/or stressed, so I thought I would share with you what I learned.

Have you ever heard of the “Pareto Principle”?

“The “”Pareto Principle”” teaches us that if we focus our attention on our most important activities we gain the highest return for our effort. In fact, Mr. Pareto found that if we tend to the top 20% most important priorities, we will accomplish 80% of the results we are after.”

Taking care of just the top two or so priorities will give me 80% of what I am looking after!?!? That sounds like a deal to me. Sign me up baby, I’m in!
It is true that leaders must invest their time and resources wisely to get the maximum results. “If you embrace the right priorities, the crucial things that ONLY YOU CAN DO, you will get 80% of the results and fruit you desire.”

Think about it:
It is 20% of people who do most of the work
20% of people make 80% of the decisions
In a church it is 20% of people who bring in 80% of the new people
20% of the people give 80% of the money

It does almost sound too good to be true. But, if we look at our Savior Jesus, He gives us a great example… wait PERFECT example of how a leader should prioritize.

What would Jesus do?

“”Take a look at Jesus in Mark 1:32. The text says that the whole city had gathered to see him. Jesus was healing, casting out demons; doing awesome works. Then suddenly he left to a solitary place. Peter hunted him down and said, “”Everyone is looking for you”.” Jesus replied, ““Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, in the order that I may preach there also; for that is what I came out for.””

This statement does not make sense unless you understand the issue of priorities. Instead of receiving his mandate from Peter and the cries of the people – Jesus retreats to a solitary place to listen to His Father in Heaven. After regaining perspective, and refocusing on the big picture priorities, He shocks Peter by saying in essence: I recognize everyone is looking for me back at your house, but I have just spent time adjusting My priorities with My Father, and He says that is time to move on. Getting God’s perspective is a prerequisite to doing God’s priorities.””
Reading this was music to my ears!  I received some critical responses when I left for this journey. I was over-loaded, tired, stressed, bombarded with to-do lists, and people’s requests. I needed time to gain perspective. I suddenly knew I had to refocus. I had no clear explanation to give, but I felt deeply that I needed to do it. So I did. I found it comforting that even Jesus suddenly left to go to a solitary place to gain perspective and even though there were people calling out to him and expecting Him He followed the voice of God not the requests of man.

““Not only was Jesus a marvelous Savior, He is a model of a leader on a mission. He possessed definite priorities, based on a clear mission. He didn’t treat everyone fairly. He invested far more time into twelve men than in the masses. In fact, He didn’t even spend equal time with all of the 12. Three of them – Peter, James, and John – experienced exclusive ministry with Him. Why? Because He was preparing them for crucial roles in the Church later.””

I always feel the need to be everything, give everything, do everything, and commit to everything and everyone.  But, I am thankful to have this example of Jesus. If I know my mission, then I know how to keep my priorities straight. And if I am focusing on the most important things, I don’t have to be everything to everyone, and do everything, and commit to every great opportunity that comes along!

This is truly music to my ears
Peace for my soul

Time to stop being busy and start being productive!

“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as we make use of. One person gets a week’s value out of a year while another person gets a year’s value out of a week.” Charles Richards

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you can’t get more time.


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