First Things First

A time management expert was conducting a seminar for top executives. He placed a large clear jar in front of the audience.

Next he put several big rocks into the jar until it was full. Then he asked, “Is the jar full?” Everyone nodded.

After that he took small pebbles to fill up the gaps in jar until they reached the rim. Again he asked, “Is the jar full?” Some nodded.

So, he poured fine sand into the jar. Again he asked, “Is the jar full?” By now, many did not answer.

Then he proceeded to take a pitcher of water and filled the jar to the full.

“What’s the lesson about time management?” asked the trainer.

Hands shot up. Everyone in the room seemed to agree: “You can fill your schedule with many things and it is still not quite full. You can always pack in more things no matter how busy you are.”

And the time management expert said, “Wrong.”

“The object lesson is: Unless you put the big rocks in first, you will never be able to fit them in later in your time jar no matter how you try.”

What are the big rocks in your life?

Giving time to God? Giving time to your marriage and to your children? Giving time to help people in need?

These are the first things first to put in your time jar.

If you don’t do that you will find it hard to fit them in later. It will not take long for someone to pour into your jar of time, the pebbles of appointments, the sand of endless meetings and the water of assignments.

Some people complain they just don’t have enough time to spend with their family. I suspect it is because they have not put that big rock for family first into the jar of their schedule.

Determine the big rocks in your life. Serving God? Studying His Word? Discipling others? Then let these to be the first things first to fill the jar of your time schedule.

Jesus tells us,

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33)


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