Put The Big Rocks First

A physics teacher handed each of his students several big rocks, a wide-mouth mason jar and a container of sand. He said, “You will have fifteen seconds to put all of the rocks and sand into the jar. Ready, set, go!” The students frantically poured the sand into the mason jar and began to shove the rocks in… twelve…thirteen… fourteen, fifteen seconds.

“Class, times up!”

We’ve got three rocks left.

“Put down your rocks. Times up!”

We couldn’t do it. This is impossible. The jar will break. The rocks and sand can’t all fit.

“Yes it can.”

No it can’t. If it can be done, show us.

The physics teacher removed the rocks from the jar and poured the sand out. He looked at the class and said, “Always remember, you must put the big rocks in first.

He placed the rocks in the bottom of the jar and poured sand in and shook the jar. Then he poured more sand in and it cascaded around the rocks and filled in all the holes and spaces. Finally, he put the last few sand granules in and gently shook the jar until it leveled out at the top. He then put the cap on the jar and said: “It fits. It will always fit if you put the big rocks in first.

When I first started off in ministry I worked very hard, however I got caught up with the sands of life and lost track of “putting in the big rocks first” into my daily disciplines. The result was a lack of focus, a lack of vision, and a lack of clarity of goals.

I use an acrostic P.E.P.R.D. (a misspelling of ‘pepper’ seasoning)-but nevertheless it helps me to remember my five big rocks. You need to decide for yourself what your big rocks are and discipline yourself to do them daily. These are mine:

PRAYER – A daily time with our Lord Jesus
EXERCISE – I have an exercise regime (I run 2 miles every day or do some form of activity)
PLANNING – I plan my schedule to keep my family and ministry balanced.
READING – I read several books and periodicals to keep my mind active.
DEVOTIONS – I sit at the Lord’s feet and do my devotions following a Life Journal method. (www.LifeJournal.cc)

If I do nothing else during the day, other than getting these five big rocks done, I’m a happy camper. If I do everything else in a day but I don’t get these done, I’m foolish and I’m squandering time. You and I have the same amount of time every day and we must utilize it well. What are your big rocks?

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