Rocks in a Jar
Have you ever heard of the teacher who put rocks in a jar?
He asked the students if they thought the jar was full. They answered, understandably, that yes, it was full.
He proceeded to pour in handfuls of gravel. He asked again if the jar was full. This time, suspecting what he was hinting at, they responded no.
He then poured in sand and asked the same question: Is the jar full?
The students agreed that it was still not full.
Finally, he proceeded to pour water into the jar so that each space, truly, was filled.
What’s the point?
That we can always add something to our schedule, no matter how busy and hectic we are?
That we should always make time for every appointment that comes our way?
That even when we are exhausted, we must feel immense guilt unless we say “yes” to anything else?
No, not at all.
The point is–you can only fit the rocks in if you put them in first.
What are the rocks?
The central, biggest rock should be God, of course. But connected to Him, we also have some important areas of stewardship (God-given, I think, in many regards). Our families, our church families, ourselves, our work (whether that be at home, a paid position, or both), and our influence on those around us.
If we don’t intentionally make time for these “rocks” in our lives, often the “urgent” supersedes the “important.” Deadlines, phone calls, emails, and outside pressures can sometimes make us feel guilt and stress and worry–for things God has not actually called us to do. What has he called us to?
Matthew 6:33-34 says:
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Our first job, in all things, is to seek God first. If we don’t get that one priority right, we will find our life feels hectic, out of control and imbalanced–because putting God first is always the right balance.
May we each seek Him first in all we do, in every hour.
I found the inspiration and analogy for this blog post from Nancy Eichman’s book “Keeping Your Balance.” It’s an excellent read! You can find it here.
Be encouraged by these posts as well!
- All I Want for Christmas…A Christmas Wishlist - November 16, 2018
- Just Ask Joseph: Running from Sin - May 28, 2018
- Learning from Grace: Lessons in Servanthood - April 18, 2018
Balance is so important. I find my self evaluating and re-evaluating this often to make sure that I’m not allowing the gravel and sand to take up the space of my rocks. Thank you for the reminder!
As I am entering a year of God-ordained rest, I have had to learn that guilt doesn’t come from the Lord. Just because something is “good” doesn’t mean that it is a role I have to fill, which so often, leaves me feeling drained and void of joy. This is such a great reminder for me as I begin this season. Thank you!
Thank you for the great reminder to always seek God first. Life does tend to get very hectic and mundane at times. Be blessed!