‘They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” ‘ Mark 9:30-31


The people following Jesus had legitimate, urgent needs. There were cripples, blind men, and demon-possessed children who needed deliverance. In the middle of the urgent issues pressing on all sides Jesus took intentional time to work on what was necessary, instead of what was merely urgent. Jesus knew that his time on earth was limited, and that he would soon be passing the baton to his disciples, whether or not they were ready. He intentionally stepped away from what was urgent in the moment, to spend focused time on what was necessary for the long-term.


It’s easy for me to get consumed with the frantic pace of what is urgently clamoring for my attention. It’s easy to spend my day putting out fires, and feel like I’m being productive…and I am, to a certain point. If I spend all of my time using a fire extinguisher though, I’ll never get around to working on fire-prevention. The danger is that everyone admires the fireman who runs into the burning building to save the day, and they forget about the safety supervisor who prevented a fire from starting across the street. I need to be intentional to focus on those things that are truly important, even when it does not provide the same sense of self-satisfaction.

I need to have the self control to step away for a season from what is urgent, in order to first recognize, and then address, that which is necessary and important.


God, thank you for this reminder about the importance of priorities and self-control. Help me to take the time to analyze and recognize the things that are truly important, and not merely urgent. Help me to stay focused on long-term wins, and not short-term satisfaction.