Imagine a container you fill with big rocks, smaller pebbles, sand, and some beverage/liquid. Initially, when you put the big rocks first, you’d think there would be no room for anything else, but then the smaller pebbles fit in all the spaces between the big rocks. The sand then fits all the remaining gaps, followed by the liquid. Yet if we put the sand, for instance, first, there will be no room for the big rocks because to fit everything in, you need to put the foundational rocks first – then everything else fits in around them.
The big rocks symbolize the most important things we value; our relationships, family, health, connection with God and our dreams. The pebbles are the next layer of what we value in life, such as our house, car, travel plans, studies and jobs, followed by the sand, which are all the little things we desire and enjoy. The liquid fits on top and represents that when we have our priorities in order that we will always have room in our lives to have a cuppa or drink with a friend.
It’s a great analogy to ensure we get our priorities straight and encourages us to “put the big rocks first” – to fill our lives firstly with the people and things that truly matter so that everything else can find its rightful place and fit in around what you have determined is most important to you.
It’s about prioritizing and is a great reminder to examine our lives and relationships and check that we’re living purposefully and have our lives in balance.
What a tragedy it would be to go through our whole life and look back at the end of it and realize that we’ve spent all our time, money and energy on things that have no lasting significance.
Jesus said, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36). He said to make our focus be to “Seek first the kingdom of God. Then all the other things the world says are important will be added to us as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Living your best life means spending your time in a way that accurately reflects your priorities so it's important to regularly ask yourself, “what is consuming my life and time?" Think through the consequences of your actions and choices and spend time seeking God for His plan and guidance. Then make intentional choices to put the “big rocks” in your life first.
Take a breath, have courage and honestly examine the big rocks in your life. I encourage you to prioritize seeking God first. He’s one of the big rocks, and when you have Him in place, and align your life with Him, everything else will make sense; your relationships will be richer and the right ones, and what you spend your days 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 to live a life filled with meaning and purpose, putting the big rocks; the foundational things that make it all work first; I ask for wisdom to prioritize so that what is important will be first in my heart and on my schedule today in Jesus name Amen.