Living with Urgency

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Contributed by Chad Seidler, Director of Ministry/Assistant to Lead Pastor of Image Church

I love Winter.  I may be one of the few, but I get stoked for this time of year.  Brisk air, Packers’ football, Capitals’ hockey, and snow.  Yes…snow!  It’s one of the reasons why I love visiting family in Minnesota, Colorado & Kansas this time of year…we’re pretty much guaranteed some type of major snowstorm.

The DC area isn’t considered a “snowy” area.  I’ve lived here for 25 years, and I’ve probably seen 7 or so major storms.  Of course, we get “spits” of snow a few times a year, but usually nothing major.  This year, we’re smack in the middle of our 2nd major storm in two months – very much unheard of in DC.  Radio & TV personalities are calling it “historic, one for the ages.”  And, to make matters more interesting, Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow sighting tells us that we have six more weeks of this wonderful white blanket over DC.

I will gladly embrace six more weeks of Winter.  What I don’t look forward to is the continued “paranoia” that the people of this area associate with snowstorms.  I’ve never seen so much attention and fear surround weather “events” (if you can even call them that).  I have a feeling that people that live in traditionally wintry parts of our country would make fun of us here.  Maybe they already do.  When the threat of a storm is in the forecast, no matter what scope of storm, it seems like it takes up 25 minutes of every 30 minute news program.  It’s exhausting and embarrassing.  I’ve never bought into the hype.  In fact, I try to ignore it as much as possible.

Our latest storm was slated to hit us Friday at 11:00am.  It was to be “the mother of all storms,” or so said 3 to 15 media personalities.  Unfortunately, I had to run a few errands for work on Thursday, leading into the storm.  I found myself at the Sterling Costco when they opened at 10:00am, thinking that I might beat the rush of paranoid people trying to stockpile their Cold War cellars for the “Big One.”  Man was I wrong!  It took me all of 15 minutes to gather what I needed for work, but then I got into one of the check-out lines.  All 17 check-out lines were open, and each line was at least 15 customers deep.  It took me nearly 75 minutes to get through my line.  I enjoyed eavesdropping on the conversations of many a paranoid person.  It made my wait slightly more enjoyable.  I returned to work, only to be asked to go back to Costco to pick-up some additional items that were needed for our office renovation.  Sure, why not…I’ll at least get to hear a few more people talk about how they’re planning to survive this storm with their 15 gallons of milk and 20 cartons of eggs.  I went back, and it was pretty much a carbon copy of the first trip.  My two trips made for some great stories shared with my wife during our commute home that evening.  After dinner that night, my lovely pregnant wife Beth said that we needed a few things before the storm hit, and more importantly, “the baby needs some Oreos.”  So, off I went to the grocery store.  No carts or baskets were available.  People were using boxes to carry around their items.  In most places, the store looked like it was a war zone – food and trash all over the floors.  After 10 minutes of shopping, another 75 minutes in a check-out line, and the police being called for a check-out line fist-fight between two ladies, I was finally glad to be home.

I’ve lived here for 25 years.  Never have I seen so much paranoia and urgency displayed by so many people.  It was an urgency that easily rivals that of a parent who goes to 10 different stores in a two-hour time frame to get that last “must-have” toy for their child for Christmas.  It was an urgency that rivals those people who camp-out at Wal-Mart for the Black Friday deals of a lifetime (yes, I’m guilt of that one!).

The shared urgency of so many snow-scared people got me thinking.  What if this urgency was shared by all of us more often?  What if we channeled this urgency into something that was more constructive?  What if living urgent was the norm?  It was expected and accepted?

As Christians, we are called to live urgent lives.  We are given a few reminders of why to be urgent (or passionate) with our living:

  • Paul tells us “the night is far gone; the day is at hand.” (Romans 13:12, ESV)
  • James tells us “establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:8, ESV)
  • John tells us “we know that it is the last hour.” (I John 2:18, ESV)
  • Christ tells us through John “the time is near” and “surely I am coming soon.” (Revelation 1:3 & 22:20, ESV)
  • Peter tells us “the end of all things is at hand.” (I Peter 4:7, ESV)

Peter’s reminder is worth noting, especially because of his instruction that follows.  Check this out…  “Therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 4:7-11, ESV)

It doesn’t take a theologian to analyze what Peter is teaching here.  It seems pretty clear.  If we are believers, we are called to live urgent, passionate lives.  A life of urgency reflects self-control, sober-mindedness/wisdom, earnest love for people, selfless hospitality to those around us, and a life of service – to God and others.

Why?  So that God may be glorified!  It’s the reason we were created in His image.  And, it’s the reason why our vision at Image Church is to be a community of people who reflect Christ’s image. TO BRING GOD GLORY!

Paul, in an earlier passage, encouraged Timothy that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (II Timothy 1:7, ESV)

Church… Imagine if we lived our lives with a spirit of urgency that reflected Christ’s image and brought ultimate glory to Him.

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2 Responses to “Living with Urgency”

  1. shannonperkins Says:

    Excellent! Thanks for sharing!

  2. chrisrhodenhizer Says:

    Bring it! Right on Chad! We need to be urgent about the mission… knowing Jesus and making Him known!!!

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