The Important Rocks — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

The Important Rocks — Morning Devotions

The rock, gravel, sand and water in a bucket analogy is perfect in helping us realise what we determine to be important in our lives.

By Chris WittsThursday 15 Feb 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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I heard about a time management expert speaking to a group of business students, and he wanted to drive home a particular point. He used the illustration and he said it’s time for a quiz. He pulled out a five litre, wide mouthed jar and sat it on a table in front of him. And then he got about a dozen rocks about the size of his fist, and he placed them one at a time, into the jar. And when the jar was filled to the top and nothing more would fit in, he asked, Is this full? And everyone said Yes.

He said, “really”. He reached under the table, pulled out a bucket of gravel, and he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar. And it caused the pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. And he asked the question. Is the jar full? Probably not. One of them answered. He said good, and he reached under the table and he brought out a bucket of sand and started dumping the sand in and went on to all the places left between the rocks and the gravel. And, of course, he asked the same question of the class. Is this jar full? No, they shouted, and he grabbed a pitcher of water and poured it in till the jar was filled to the brim. And then he looked at the class and said:

What’s the point of this illustration?

Well, he said, The illustration that I want to say, is this. If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.

Now that’s, I think, a very interesting statement.

And it has the question. What are the most important rocks in my life? What are the big things that I have to put in first in my life? Do I have room for them – the most important things? Or is my life so jam full with gravel and sand and other things that I don’t have time for the important things? Of course, we hear about the things and stuff that fills our life. There might be many good things in our lives, but sometimes they come there at the expense of the good things that we need to do.

I want to just mention a couple of these. Today, the important things in our lives – relationships. Do you know that we were created by God for relationships? So whether you’re single or married, you really can’t live a really happy life without a healthy and happy connection with friends and loved ones. And the bottom line, for I think fully living and fully loving is to make relationships a top priority in your life. It’s a big rock to put in, isn’t it?

Physical needs? Of course. We need to take care of ourselves to make sure we get some exercise and to have a balanced diet, rest, exercise, relaxation, that sort of thing. Another rock, I think, is emotional needs.

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We are emotional people. It’s important that we get our emotional needs met in healthy ways. And that’s why it’s really good to have friends, that we can share our deepest feelings with, friends who know us exactly as we are and still accept us just the same. So we shouldn’t clutter up our jar if you like, with some of the unresolved things that happen in life, what we could call the negative emotions and they are the things like anger, grief and fear and guilt. They could be hurt and other things. And these things happen so often and they can become wedged in our life. And of course, what happens is they contaminate all the other rocks.

Well, of course, there’s a lot of things about work and employment. And many of us, of course, need to work. And it’s important that we find work, and enjoy our work to find satisfaction and, to be qualified in what we’re doing and to feel a sense of achievement. And I think another rock that is very important is what I could call the spiritual needs.

Without God in the centre of our lives. Well, we really can find that there is no provision for this life or the life beyond. Can I suggest that when God is the number one rock in our life, our life becomes greatly enhanced and enriched?

Isn’t it true that nobody gets out of this life alive? We all have to face the inevitable sometime, don’t we? And I think that having God as the major rock in your life is the passport into eternity. So don’t leave life without him. He’s the only safe way out. And there are lots of things that you can do. Pray perhaps – you could speak to a minister, go to church, find someone that is able to share with you on that level.

So there are the ideas about fitting in the most important things in life.

Let’s Pray

Well, Father God, forgive us when we feel that we’re better than other people. But, Lord, we know that you look for gentleness and patience and forbearance. And, Lord, we just pray that you’ll help us because you are a mighty God who sees all these things. Open our eyes, Lord, to see the weaknesses in ourselves and to help see other people, as you see them. Help us to keep the important things as the really important things. I pray for Jesus’ sake. Amen.