A man who was teaching on priorities had a large jar and several large rocks. He placed five or six large rocks in the jar until no more could fit. Then he asked his audience, “Is the jar full?” and almost everyone shouted “yes!” He smiled and then pulled out a bag of smaller rocks and dumped them in until no more could fit. Then he pulled out a bag of sand and poured that into the jar until it couldn’t hold anymore.
Lastly, he pulled out a jug of water and poured water into the jar until it overflowed. He then paused and asked the question, “What was the point of this example?” The answers began to fly: “You can always add a little more,” “You should never be satisfied with the amount of things you are doing,” and “If you try harder, you can always do more.”
The crowd was pleased with itself until the speaker smiled one more time and said, “You are all wrong—very wrong.” He said, “The moral of this example is this. If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you will never fit them in. You see, we often lose in the areas that matter most because our time and energy are consumed on the little things and keep us from winning when it matters most.”
Many people cringed as they realized this was a picture of their overscheduled, underprioritized lives. Their lives were packed with the small rocks, the sand, and the water—their jars were full, but they were not doing the things that mattered most. Interestingly, you can skip your priorities and still seem “successful” to the outside world.
Priorities are the foundations that your house of life will be built on. They become life-goals that help set your path and direction. Make no mistake: if you are a Christian God needs to be at the top of your priority list. When you do this everything else should fall nicely in place.
Think About It:
- What are your top five priorities?
- God loves replacing our priorities with his; are there a couple you’d like God to swap out?
- What are practical ways you can make your marriage a priority? Kids?
- How does your career fit into your list of priorities?
If you haven’t made a list of priorities yet, begin to pray and start writing out one. A great idea is to have a pastor or church leader review it. Where your priorities lie, time and finance will follow.