Do you live with a sense of urgency?

From a jail cell in April of 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, "Human progress never rolls on the wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do the right."

The Psalmist echoes these words: "When I think of your ways, I turn my feet to your decrees; I hurry and do not delay to keep your commandments."

Steven Covey, who gave us the popular - Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, declared that "the urgent" often crowds out "the important" tasks in life. But what if, in all our sophistication for ordering our private worlds - google calendars, apps for everything under the sun, etc., we neglect priorities that do require our urgent attention and action?

I find in Martin Luther King's letter from the Birmingham jail, as well as in the words of the Psalmist, a manifesto for living with a sense of urgency with regard to what matters most in life. Incrementalism is the best way to go if you are aging fine wine or getting an education, but when it comes to issues of justice, love, and changing systems and cultures that de-value people it is wholly inadequate.

The question that keeps rolling through my mind today is, "In what areas in life do I live with a sense of urgency?" I'm not talking about feeling hurried or stressed out about things. Rather, the focus is on what I believe and feel most passionately about and whether or not I am acting on it.

At the end of the day, I am challenged by the reality that I must shed an incremental mindset on everything that requires bold response. To do anything else would be to neglect the call to leadership that I espouse and call others to embrace.

Ritch