We’ve likely all heard the story…you know the one…”There was a college professor who once pulled out a large jar and asked his class, after putting some big rock in the jar, is the jar full?” If you haven’t heard it, do a quick search for “The professor and the jar story”. Steven Covey relays it in his “First Things First” book as well.
I heard the story a long time ago (at least it feels that way), and I remember how it impacted me. It made so much sense. I kept trying to shove more in the jar, never really thinking about what my “big rocks” were. The list I came up with felt pretty reasonable and important – God, family, self and work. I’ve tried – and failed – and tried again to prioritize these in the order I had determined.
I wonder, though, is there another way to look at this? What about different kinds of rocks?
I don’t think many would argue with the above four – maybe friends would be there for some, church for others. Maybe the list would be longer or shorter, with more or less “big rocks”. What I found, though, was that I couldn’t practically implement my “rocks” (that sounds weird…but I can’t seem to find a better way to say it). After all, trying to be involved in what God was up to also included being a dad and a husband. And I was pretty sure He wanted to be around me at work, too.
Could I put different rocks in the jar?
So I’ve tried one – “keep the Sabbath holy”. For me, that’s Sunday. Could I really not check e-mail? Could I really have it just be a day of renewal? And if I did, how would it force me to move other “rocks” around to make it fit? So far, it is different around here.
How about you? What one big rock should you try to put in the jar? Can you find one that would push the other ones around in a way that gets you where God wants you to go?
I’ll let you know how it goes. Let us know what “rocks” for you…