My name is Tim Patterson. I am a husband, father, Southern Baptist Minister, and Network Administrator/Engineer. I currently work at North Greenville University in Tigerville, SC. Erin is my wife and Veronica my daughter is just something special. I like reading, discussing theology, photography, sports, and being a couch potato when time permits.

Why Apparent Contradictions?

I have based a large part of my life on the premise that two statements that contradict one another cannot both be true. I am also aware that I sometimes live a life that seems inconsistent with this belief. Often times this creates apparent contradictions. I am now inviting you to be apart of them.

The Importance of Understanding Urgency

I work in a service field that at times becomes overwhelmed by ego maniacs that live their life as though they are the most important people in the universe (IT not Ministry, although at times it would fit there as well). I constantly resist the temptation to see my role as an end onto itself but as one who serves and facilitates the success of others in their work. I have allowed my desire to serve others and to not take myself too seriously that it has created a major problem. Every time a request for my assistance comes to my office, I immediately categorize the need as "Urgent" and begin a frenzy of effort until the issue is resolved. If multiple issues come in before I can clear the previous requests, I have no problem prioritizing them and working until all the issues are resolved.

The problem is that I fail miserably when I have a problem come into my office at the end of the day. I immediately spring into action diagnosing the problem and taking on the weight of the world onto my shoulders until I can fix it. I lose sight of the fact that I have already worked all day, that I don't get paid overtime (although I regularly work it), and that my wife and child are at home waiting for my time.

I know the reason I do this is because I understand that every time someone calls my office it is likely the most important and most urgent need that they have to get the job assigned them by the University completed. I take very seriously my responsibility to help them. What I do wrong is that I assume everything that is important is urgent. It is not. Important things will always be important and urgent things will always be urgent, but that doesn't mean that everything I do has to be some all consuming-Indiana Jones-like quest. No work I have ever done has change the world for the benefit of all mankind. No contribution I have ever made has saved the life of someone else. Staying late does not make me a better worker. Staying late does not make the work I do better or more valuable. Working more does not make me a better "Daddy" to Veronica or a better "Hubs" to Erin. It just means that I fail to place the proper importance on urgent things.

I have to spend more time remembering that I do important work. I respond to urgent issues. There are times that I absolutely need push on and stay until the work is done. However, the most important thing is that I do not need to do this all the time, and the urgent needs are at home. The lives I will change are those of Veronica and Erin and the lives that they can change by the contribution I make to them. With all this being said it is urgent that I understand the importance of understanding real urgency.


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