“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” – Jim C. Collins
I was reminded of Jim Collins’ quote this week, “Good is the enemy of great.” I was reading the story of Mary and Martha, and was convicted.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Martha was busy. What she was doing was good. But Mary took advantage of the great thing, sitting at the feet of Jesus while he taught. There are a lot of good things we need to do, our jobs, household chores, etc. But when we get “busy” and focus on these “good” things, sometimes the more important things suffer, like family time or our spiritual lives. The laundry can wait. People are more important.
I’m guilty of this. I’ve been very busy lately and have neglected family time and intense Bible study. My devotional time has been superficial, because I was distracted with all I was responsible for.
How can we prevent “good” from hindering the “great” in our daily lives? “What is important is seldom urgent,” Dwight D. Eisenhower often said, “and what is urgent is seldom important. The Eisenhower Matrix is one tool we can use to determine what is truly important, and what needs to be delegated or eliminated from our lives. The matrix is a business management tool, but can be used in all areas of our lives. Take a look at the matrix:
The Matrix is divided into four quadrants to help you determine what is truly important, what can wait, what can be delegated or what or not at all important or useful.
Quadrant 1: Put tasks that are both important and urgent in this box. I include family time and my spiritual growth here.
Quadrant 2: Put important tasks in this box that can wait a while, but don’t put them off too long.
Quadrant 3: Determine what is not important, but urgent, and put those tasks in this box. Often these tasks can be handled by others.
Quadrant 4: Determine what is not important, and not urgent, and put those activities in this box. Perhaps some of these things can be eliminated from your life giving you room for the more important things in your life.
If you are also convicted that what is “great” has been usurped by what is “good” in your life, consider looking at this time management tool.
May your life be filled with what is truly important!
https://www.biblegateway.com (English Standard Version)