Big Rocks First
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publications
Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken from her. Jesus' words in Luke 10:41-42 (ESV)
Most leaders have heard the story given by a time management expert to a group of businessmen craving success. He took a large, wide mouth jar and filled it with rocks. He asked the class, "Can I get any more in the jar?" "No," they agreed.
He then dropped small pebbles into the jar that fell among the rocks until they also reached the top. "Can I get any more into this jar?" he queried. Uncertain of his point they hesitantly answered, "No."
Next, the expert filtered sand down through the pebbles and the stones until it, too, reached the top. "Now is the jar filled?" he asked. Satisfied no more could be put into the jar they answer with growing confidence, "Yes."
The speaker then poured water that seeped through the sand, around the pebbles and the rocks until it reached the top. He asked for the fourth time, "Is it full now?" "Yes," they replied.
He then asked, "What is the primary lesson to be learned?"
A quick thinking man shot up his hand and said, "No matter how much you do, there is still time for more."
"No," replied the teacher, "the object is this: if you do not put the big rocks in first, you will never get them in."
Prioritizing your life will determine success or failure in all things. Compare what Jesus prioritized as the big rocks to what you regard as important. The closer we draw to Jesus' values the more we will succeed in that which matters to God.
Every morning when you arise you will hear voices calling you to first put pebbles, or sand, or the water into the jar. It demands tough resolve to put the big rocks in first. Keep the order straight . . . big rocks first . . . or you will never succeed.
Jesus said to Martha, who was fluttering about like a nervous bird, ". . . you are anxious and troubled about many things." Martha was frenzied about things that perish while Mary was focused on the eternal. Martha was fumbling with pebbles, sand and water while Mary was filling her jar with rocks.
Are you a Mary or a Martha? Would Jesus compliment your priorities? We are commanded to redeem the time because the days are evil.1
So, get practical. Sit down right now, get a pen and paper (or your electronic gadget) and write your list:
Big Rocks:List what matters the most in your life. Do it first!
Pebbles:List what can wait for your secondary time and attention.
Sand:List what comes after that.
Water:List what "must wait" until the end.
This simple formula will determine your success or failure in spiritual growth as well as practical accomplishments. Jesus essentially told Martha to put the big rocks in first. Matthew 6:33 is a good verse for helping us to determine what the big rocks should be.
Remember . . .Big Rocks First!
Immanuel: God is with you!
1See: Ephesians 5:16
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