I would not believe this story if I had not heard it from a reputable source. But I once learned of a lady who was fixing supper when a grease fire erupted on the stove. Thinking quickly, she raced into the bathroom and got a towel to smother the fire. But on her way back, the phone rang and what do think she did? She answered the phone.
You say, “Why would anyone answer the phone when there’s a fire on the stove?” The answer is she had developed a lifelong habit of being controlled by the urgent instead of the important. A ringing telephone often creates a great sense of urgency in people. There is a feeling that we have to jump up and answer it no matter what we’re doing.
Make it a practice when you have guests or during family devotions to let the answering machine take the message or at least screen it. Determining what things are important, not just urgent, is a big part of redeeming the time.
Rick Grubbs is best known as the host of “Redeeming the Time,” a one-minute radio program featured on hundreds of radio outlets around the world. He has spoken thousands of times on Biblical time management in all 50 states and 26 other countries. He is the author of the book “Morning Momentum: God’s plan for launching an unstoppable day”. He and his wife Carrie live in Salisbury NC with several of their 12 children.