Tuesday, September 28 2021 - 3:57 AM
father and son reading book
Photo by Dreamstime

Squeezing in the Urgent

“Hey, Pop, look at these three books I got from school. You want to let’s read them?”

Before I could think, I said, “Not right now. Pop’s busy.”

Then I thought better of my answer. He might leave for home before I finished my work. The day had been long and busy. Two times during the week, I had missed my planning period at school, which had put me behind on grading papers, making lesson plans, and doing other things I normally have done by the time I leave school. My work came home with me.

When I told him, “No,” I saw and heard his disappointment. He slouched from the room. I quickly called him back. “Come on, buddy, we’ll read them now.” The smile on his face let me know I’d made the right decision.

From Urgent to Important

Being familiar with so many kids who hate to read, I sure didn’t want to extinguish the love my oldest grandson had for it. He slipped his three small books from a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and scrambled onto my lap. Several of the words in each sentence were small words he could read on his own. A picture accompanied the larger words. When he didn’t know a word, we sounded out the phonics I had taught him over the summer. Excitement peppered his face when he got it right.

After we finished the first book, he retrieved the second…and then the third. What I thought I didn’t have time for only took about 10 minutes, and doing it made my grandson the happiest little boy in the world.

When we finished our reading time, I realized what I had to do wasn’t that urgent at all. Life is brief, and I don’t have time to do everything I want to do or everything everybody else wants me to do. All I have time for is what God wants me to do.

I remind myself often that these grandchildren who want so much of my time now will soon be middle schoolers, teens, and adults whose lives will get busy. When this happens, other people and other things will become more urgent than I am. So, I enjoy what little time I have with them now.

I’ve discovered some things that seem essential aren’t that important at all. Don’t let the urgent crowd out the important in your life.

If you liked this, you might also like Navigating Transition | Urgent vs. Important

Martin Wiles writes from South Carolina.

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About Martin Wiles

Martin Wiles

writes from South Carolina.

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