Where has this week gone…I tell you, my father-in-law was SO right…he told me once, "Gert, it's all down hill from here!" shortly after I graduated hs. [Gertrude is my nickname from him, btw] And, he was so right…life is one big snowball and it is rolling downhill getting bigger and bigger and faster and faster! Times seems to pass so quickly –sometimes I can barely keep up with the date!
I have to share this story...I read it recently in my "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" book and found it online to share because I think it is so applicable to all of us and every situation or "rock" in our life.
One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of
business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration
those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of
high powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." Then he
pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar and set it on the table
in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and
carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was
filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is
this jar full?"
Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a
bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar
causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between
the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By
this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them
answered. "Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought
out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it
went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once
more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted.
Once again he said, "Good." Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and
began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he
looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this
illustration?" One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point
is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can
always fit some more things in it!"
"No," the speaker replied, "That's not the point. The truth this
illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first,
you'll never get them in at all." What are the 'big rocks' in your
life? Your children; Your loved ones; Your education; Your dreams; A
worthy cause; Teaching or mentoring others; Doing things that you love;
Time for yourself; Your health; Your significant other? Remember to put
these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all. If you
sweat the little stuff (the gravel, the sand) then you'll fill your
life with little things you worry about that don't really matter, and
you'll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big,
important stuff (the big rocks). So, tonight, or in the morning, when
you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question:
What are the 'big rocks' in my life? Then, put those in your jar first."
Posted by Stephen C. Ehrmann to the POD listserv, August 21, 2000, Ehrmann@tltgroup.org
I constantly struggle with my rocks! In my case– God, my husband, my kids and ME (my health especially right now) would be my big rocks. But I generally am fussing constantly with the little stuff– I really hate that…especially when I know better. I know that if I focus on what's important first…everything else will find it's place in the jar. Good lesson, huh?
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all
these things shall be yours as well. Matthew 6:33
Well, back to work [gravel] now...my taxes [gravel] are still waiting. My desk is piled up [sand] and my little boy [BIG ROCK] is happily playing about. All is good.