First Things First
What is it about the urgent, pressing tasks that we all face? I mean things like work deadlines, paying bills on time, getting to meetings on time etc seem to get more of the focus or more of my energy.. yet surprisingly I usually find that the important stuff is usually more fulfilling. Keeping a healthy relationship with my family, a good cardio work-out or just resting on God in prayer all feed my soul far more. What about you?
I think the “Time Management” illustration I read from Stephen Covey best describes what is going on..
A seminar presenter pulled out a wide-mouth gallon jar and placed it next to a pile of fist-sized rocks. After filling the jar to the top with rocks, he asked, "Is the jar full?" The group replied, "Yes." He then got some gravel from under the table and added it to the jar. The speaker jiggled the jar until the gravel filled the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asked, "Is the jar full?" This time, the group replied, "Probably not." The speaker then added some sand and asked, "Is the jar full?" "No!" shouted the group. Finally, the speaker filled the jar to the brim with water and asked the group the point of this illustration. Someone replied that you could always fit more things into your life if "you really work at it." "No," countered the speaker. The point is, if you don't put the big rocks in first, "...would you ever have gotten any of them in?"
If you are anything like me then your ‘jar for the week’ can easily get full to the brim with a range of stuff medium and small. How often do you get the end of the week and wonder why you didn’t put in to your week the ‘big rocks’ that you actually, truly value. What would happen if you thought about the year or the last ten years? Scary thought.
As we at St John’s consider ‘church revitalisation’ we are challenged this week to consider how good we have been at keeping our first priorities, or our big rocks, a part of our meetings and church life. From my understanding of the Bible those rocks are actually god-given rocks that point us to the God who kindly provides for his people (like in Joshua 4). They are also biblical principles like being witnesses to the mercy of God found in Jesus Christ. Have we got more focused on the urgent or pressing things like money matters, roof repairs or the more humdrum cleaning roster?
The big question is, what is our jar full of? This then leads me to wonder how fulfilled you are as a result and, also, what are we going to do about it?