The Urgency of Right Now

timerThe scene is a classic from action movies and TV shows. The hero has found the bomb with a minute to spare. As the clock ticks down, the hero makes the right decision and disarms with a second or two to spare or gets it to a safe place where the explosion does no harm. The camera then cuts back to our hero and he or she smiles calmly and makes a pithy quip.

There are moments in our lives that feel this way. A phone call, a conversation, an event, a bill, a notice, something happens and instantly we are in crisis mode and believe something needs to be done now or it is all going to come crashing down. We panic. We make decisions based on that panic. We speak out of panic. We react.

I have found that much of the time, it is not as urgent as it seems in the moment. Most of the time, we actually have time. And we need it. We need it to keep from doing something rash and regrettable. I recently had one of these moments. The information we had made it seem like a decision needed to be made right away and a drastic one at that. However, we decided to give it two weeks and pray and seek God for guidance. Those two weeks changed everything. What seemed like a right now urgent decision proved to be something that is not so urgent even though it is extremely important. That time gave us time to respond without an emotional knee jerk reaction.

I have applied the wait principle to many things for years. When someone sends a less than complimentary email or message, I wait a day or two before I respond to get the initial emotion out of the way. When a crisis arises, the first thing I evaluate is whether or not it can wait before a decision is made.

Of course, there are those rare moments when it can’t wait. In those times, we have to trust the voice of God in each of us and our past experience to help us make the right decision.

Most of the time, the urgent is not really. It is just loud. Loud always feels urgent. What we have to evaluate is how important is it. If it is really important to vital, and the decision will have lasting impact, then time might be the right decision. How long depends on the circumstance, but it is always good to get perspective before reacting in a moment.