by Leonard Albert
Recently I read a most interesting story about a time-management expert who was speaking before a group of eager business students. He began his talk by illustrating the main point he wished to bring home. He put a table beside the lectern and placed a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar on top of it. He then produced five or six fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. He asked the students, “Is this jar full?” They unanimously agreed that it was. He said, “Do you really think so?” and pulled out some gravel from a shelf beneath the table and poured it slowly over the rocks. He shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. “How about now?” he asked. The students, quick to catch on said, “Maybe not.” “Right” he said as he pulled out from beneath the table a bucket of sand, which he poured, into the jar. He said, “I know it looks full but there’s still room for more!” With that, he pulled out a small container of water and completely filled the gallon jar to the brim.
“What’s the lesson here?” he asked. One student said, “No matter how busy you are you can always cram in a little more into your schedule.” The expert said, “that’s not it at all.” “The true lesson from this example is that if you don’t put the big rocks in first, you will never be able to put them in later.” Wow! What a truth. Put the big rocks in first. Matthew 6:33 really comes to my mind here when Jesus said “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” If we take care of the big rocks of our life then God will take care of everything else.
What are the big rocks? How about time with your spouse and children? How about time with your Lord? How about your quality time of study, Bible reading, and meditation? How about your education and career choice? Your choice of a marriage partner? Think about what you are doing in the local church. What are some of the big rocks? In this issue of The Coordinator we have looked at writing a purpose statement, how to do hospital visitation and the time factor that must be dealt with. These are definitely big rocks! They must go in first or they simply will not fit in later.
Take a moment and ponder this thought: What are the major things that must be given priority now in my life? You’ll be glad you included these first.