“…but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
Do you ever struggle with keeping the main thing, the main thing in your life? The real important things in life can get swallowed up in the minutia of everyday battles. It is as if Paul is reminding himself of what is really important to him in this passage. I have to keep reminding myself of what is really important as well. In order to pray more, I have to set aside more time to pray. If I want to study the Bible more, I have to set aside time to make sure that happens. Why? There is always something going on in my life to eat up those moments I want to give to the Lord. It is a battle and the only way to stay victorious is to keep reminding ourselves of what is important. Below is a story I reread every-so-often to remind myself to do the important things first.
A while back an expert on the subject of time management was speaking to a group of business students.
After speaking to them for a while, he said, “Okay, it’s time for a quiz.” He set a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks & carefully placed them, one at a time, inside the jar. When the jar was filled to the top & no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?” Everyone in the class said, “Yes.”
“Really?” he said. Then he reached under the table & pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel into the jar & shook it , causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.
Then he smiled & asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not,” one of them said.
“Good!” he replied. And he reached under the table & brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in & it filled all the spaces between the rocks & the gravel. Once more he asked, “Is this jar full?” “No!” the class shouted. Again he said, “Good!” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water & began to pour in the water until the jar was filled to the brim.
Then he looked back at the class & asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”
One eager beaver raised his hand & said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit something more into it!”
“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is this: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”