I was chatting to some of our kids today about knowing what is important and a priority in their lives so they can have things in the correct order of focus and importance.
Productivity gurus and motivational speakers have an analogy called the Big Rocks first, but more than merely being productive, having the Big Rocks First helps you to know how to make life work.
An expert on time management was lecturing to a group of business school students. He pulled out a wide-mouthed Mason jar and set it on a table, then produced several 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, he asked, "Is this jar full?"
Everyone in the class said, "Yes."
He said, "Are you sure?"
He then reached under the table, pulled out a bag of gravel, and began pouring the gravel in, pausing to shake the jar so the gravel could work itself down into the spaces between the big rocks. Then he asked the group.
"Probably not," some of the students replied.
"Good!" he replied. Next, he reached under the table and brought out a bag of sand. He started shaking the sand in, and it sifted into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more, he asked, "Now, is the jar full?"
"No!" the class replied.
"Excellent!" he said, and finally, he grabbed his cup of coffee off the desk and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim.
Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"
One eager student raised his hand and said, "No matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!"
"Nice try," the speaker replied, "but that's not the point. The truth this little jar illustration teaches us is simple but powerful: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."
The Big Rocks' first jar represents your life.
The big rocks symbolize what's truly essential in life. The things that matter most to you.
The gravel is what's important but at a secondary level.
The sand represents the small things in life.
And the coffee? Well, that’s because it’s always good to have room to grab a coffee with a friend.
The Big Rocks First analogy is a good reminder that every person has a God-given purpose, talent, gifts, and abilities, but a key to remaining focused is to put the important first in your life, so that what isn't really necessary or what your life is really about won't crowd your time, efforts or priority, leaving little room for what matters.
Today I encourage you to honestly examine your life and purpose, then begin to fulfill that purpose every day as you put the "Big rocks first" in place.
Then everything else will make sense, your relationships will be richer and the right ones for you, and what you spend your days thinking about and doing will be purposeful and fulfilling.
"Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honour, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is." (Ephesians 5:15-17 Amp)
Prayer: Lord, please help me put the Big Rocks in place first, measure my days, and live a life filled with meaning and purpose. I ask for wisdom to prioritize what is important today. In Jesus' name Amen.