Deciding What’s Essential
18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands.
How do you determine what is essential in life? When our lives are bombarded by appointments, responsibilities, and deadlines, it becomes increasingly difficult to sort the meaningful from the meaningless. What is vital in life and what is trivial? It is strange to say, but sometimes it is hard to decide. Over time, we can grow accustomed to the cacophony of daily obligations and when that happens, we lose perspective and discernment. The demands of family, career, faith, and friendships blend together into a murky gumbo we call “life.”
But how do you decide what is most valuable and most worthy of your time and energy? It can’t all be important. When everything is crucial, nothing is.
In Acts 27, the apostle Paul is onboard a ship sailing for Rome when they encounter a storm at sea. This was much more than a squall on the water, it was closer to a hurricane force storm. They feared the integrity of the ship would be compromised and shipwreck became a real possibility. What did they do? They began to throw cargo overboard. Whatever was unnecessary and excessive was tossed into the water, gone forever. What was valuable one moment, lost its value in light of the catastrophe at hand.
Crises have a way of doing this for us. As you look over the deck of your life, what is essential and what needs to be tossed overboard? During these days of quarantine, it has all gotten much clearer, hasn’t it?