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My mother in law had a heart attack last week.

At 53.

Thank the Lord she’s ok, but my goodness……53!!!  It just should’t be, but it is.

This kind of life altering shakeup has a way of focusing your attention.  It makes you think about what is really important in this life.

Our preacher once told a story that has stuck with me ever since.

A college professor began his lecture by pulling out a giant glass pickle jar and several large rocks.  The class quieted, intrigued.  He placed the rocks into the jar, up to the rim.  He asked the class “Is this jar full?”  The consensus was “Yeah, it’s full.”

He then pulled out a jar of gravel and shook it into the pickle jar.  These smaller rocks bounced down and were shaken to fill the voids in the large rocks.  He fit the entire jar of gravel into the pickle jar.  He asked “Is this jar full?”  The consensus – along with a few smiles – was “Yes, now it is full.”

He pulled out a mason jar full of sand.  He shook the sand into the pickle jar, filling every void left by the gravel.  He asked the class again “Is the jar full?”  The consensus – hesitantly now because they knew something was up – was “Yes, NOW it is full.”

He pulled out a jar of water and poured it into the pickle jar.  The water filled every last void in the sand, and filled the jar to the brim!

Instead of asking the expected question, he simply said “The pickle jar is our life, and the rocks are the most important things in our lives.  The gravel is  less important, and the sand and water are the distractions, stress, wasted time, and junk that fills up our busy lives.”

“The moral here is that if you don’t put the rocks in the jar first, then you won’t be able to fit them in after the gravel, sand, and water get in there.”

It is so hard to live life deliberately.

To do what you know you should be doing, instead of getting caught up in the meaningless busy that plagues us.

Life is short, and we should make the most of it.  The recent family shock that I’ve experienced has had me thinking about the rocks in my life, and where I’m falling short.

What I want my priorities to be:

  1. Serving God
  2. Family
  3. Friends
  4. Experiences
  5. Work / Money

I firmly believe that you can tell what is important to a person by looking at how they spend their time, and how they spend their money.

Examining myself under that magnifying lens, I fail.

I fail to spend my time and money in the progression that I want to spend it in.

I spend to much time and money on work and hobbies and not enough helping others, growing the Church, or playing in the yard with my wife and kid.

If you’re too busy to spend time on what’s most important to you, then you’re TOO BUSY.

How do you change this?


So today – this week – I will refocus my time & money on what is important in life.

I’ll be doing the things I know I know I should do, instead of getting filled up with water and sand.

What about you?  Any money goals you are focused on or need to re-focus on?

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