Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our Rocks

A few weeks ago, before coming back to East Lansing for the next semester, I went to church with my family. The pastor shared an analogy on time with us, one that some of you may recognize if you've ever read Stephen Covey's First Things First. It was exactly what I needed to hear before coming back to school. I remember it often and it has transformed my perception of time in a very valuable, and even more challenging, way.
The analogy goes:

Imagine there is a large jar, sand, and large rocks sitting before you. You pour the sand into the jar and then proceed to add the large rocks. Once you finish it looks something like this...

Now, in an effort to make it all fit, you remove the rocks and sand. But, this time you add the rocks first and then pour the sand over them. Sure enough, it all fits. You haven't taken anything away, nor obtained a larger jar. You've just reorganized everything a little.

The jar represents our time. Lets say 24 hours, one day. The large rocks are our big priorities. Things like God, a significant other, our families, friends, or maybe even our careers. The sand represents our smaller priorities. Thigns that we still value, but that aren't as important as the rocks. Things like our car, our house, a hobby, facebooking, blogging :), watching TV, cooking (for me at least), and the list goes on and on.

So often, we fill our time with the sand first and become frustrated when there isn't enough time for the important things in our lives. But, what would happen if everyday, we made time for the big rocks before the sand. Everything would fit. Nothing would be sacrificed or lost, but rather rearranged in a way that allows us to devote enough time to the things that really matter.

This is hard to do. Really hard. But, in the few times where I've been really diligent, I am convinced that it is really true.

1 comment:

  1. It was a good series. . . and it's hard to remember to put in the big rocks first! Also a great verse to remind us (I put it on my bulletin board at work). . . "Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
    Ps. 90:12 Love, Mom