When the nurse called me from the waiting room, I knew we were in trouble. The EKG was abnormal and the doctor wasn’t treating it lightly.
I had seen my wife fill multiple roles with elegant grace. She had been a wife, mother, teacher, musician, and homemaker. Now she was a heart patient. With one phone call, a cardiologist entered our most intimate circle of friends. With one report, nameless technicians held our rapt attention. With one test, our perspective changed. The decks were cleared for whatever the doctor suggested. In a moment, importance took the lead and “urgent” dropped out of sight.
How is it that the “urgent” always rules? Running hard to keep pace, we lose sight of importance and lose touch with our higher values. Yet, when big storms threaten, we secure everything, and trim down to simple necessities. In so doing, we live on a higher plane with a sharper sense of purpose. In our case it took an abnormal EKG to unclutter our priorities.
What will it take for you to stop living like a reactor? Empower the important and refuse to be led by the urgent. Get centered on vital relationships and eternal values. Your quality of life will improve, even in the midst of the storm.