My in-laws visited for the weekend. For the last two years we have used an oil furnace to heat our house. It’s used a lot of oil and not always kept the house the warmest. So, this year, we switched to a kerosene heater. It’s supposed to be very efficient and clean. Two of my wife’s uncles use the heaters in California and are quite pleased. We even bought our heater from one of her uncles and had it shipped to NC.

We’ve spent the last several weeks trying to get someone to come install the heater. We had no luck. Finally, her father volunteered to come down from WV and help with the installation. What was supposed to be a Saturday afternoon installation (the book said two hours) turned into a Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday installation. We had to clean and raise our 500 gallon fuel tank. We had to drill through the wall to vent the stove (12 inches of wood, plaster, and brick). We had to rewire for the heater. We had to raise the tank again. We had to trim the copper tubbing running from the tank to the heater. Several trips to the gas station for Kerosene for our test run.

This was an important project for us. In the last several weeks it’s become more urgent (as the weather turns colder). And yet, several important projects got pushed aside. Now there are several projects that have become urgent and are clamoring for attention.

As Christians it is easy to spend our time focused on the urgent. Though we may be doing good things, we may not be doing the important things. We think, “I don’t have time for prayer, Bible study, serving others. I already feel burnt out and stressed. I have so much to do and so little time.”

How do you stay focused on the important and not get overwhelmed by the urgent?