People Are More Important than Projects

by Denise Wilson

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 NASB

Busyness is often worn like a badge of honor. To rush around in a million directions is somehow perceived to be a good thing.

I do my share of rushing around, yet I often stop and remind myself that people are more important than projects. If we’re not careful, we can spend our lives rushing from one project to the next while missing out on people and relationships along the way.

My husband Brad would be the first to admit that this is an area he could work on. He is so task-oriented that he finds it helpful to make a to-do list that looks something like this:

  • mow lawn
  • hang hooks in bathroom
  • play with boys

If hanging out with the boys isn’t on his list, the other tasks take over.

When the pressure is on to complete a task what gets neglected? People.

Regardless of how busy a day is, I always want to be sure that I reach out to someone.

When I think of prioritizing people, the story of Mary and Martha comes to mind. Mary sat at Jesus’s feet, while Martha was rushing around preparing the meal.

But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:40–42 NKJV).

Poor Martha was trying to take care of the company that came to her home for a meal. One of the guests was Jesus, no less. If I were Martha, I would want to pull out all the stops too. I hope I would also want to sit at Jesus’s feet. What a dilemma. I have pondered this a fair amount recently and concluded that while Jesus and the others needed to eat, the correct response was probably a simple meal that wouldn’t have required excessive time away from the guest of honor.

Those who know me know that I love to make things from scratch. I have been known to make my own soap, face creams, kombucha, bread, apple cider, and the list goes on. There is nothing wrong with doing that but in recent years I have been learning balance. I have cut out some things while continuing others. I’ve found balance by inviting others to join me in the creative process. I invite friends over to make apples pies when our apple harvest is plentiful. That way I can combine my love for homemade pies with my love for people.

Each of us is capable of making another human being feel valued. A phone call, a handwritten note, an encouraging word are always appreciated, especially during difficult times.

Several years ago a Facebook friend posted about the death of another friend’s daughter. Out of curiosity I looked up the profile of the woman whose daughter had died. I was saddened to realize that she had died by suicide. I then looked up the daughter’s profile. As I scrolled through her page, I read the saddest post. Written about a month before she took her own life it said, “1,611 Facebook friends and nobody to talk to.” How tragic!

On his death bed you won’t hear a businessman say, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” But you might hear him say, “I wish I’d spent more time with my family.”

I hope and pray that in the days and weeks ahead, we each find time in our busy schedules to prioritize people, because people are more important than projects.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Denise Wilson lives in small-town Ontario with her husband, two teenage sons, and a whole bunch of chickens. She is passionate about sharing the gospel and the author of Seven Words You Never Want to Hear

Join the conversation: How do you make people your priority?

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