A teacher stood before his class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The teacher then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He again asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was full now. Then the teacher picked up a box of fine sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled in and around everything else. While the students were chuckling, he asked once more if the jar was full. They responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’ The teacher then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and proceeded to pour the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling all the remaining empty space amongst the sand, while the students laughed. ‘Now,’ said the teacher, as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this mayonnaise jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things in your life: your health, family, children, friends and your favorite passion. Now, if everything else was lost and only that remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things in your life that matter to you: your education or job, your house and other possessions like your car. The sand is everything else left over, not mentioned above: the small stuff. Now, if you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you, the bigger things in life. ‘Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness! Spend time with your family. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse to dinner. Play! There will always be time to clean the house or fix the garbage disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the people that really matter in your life. Set priorities! The rest is just sand. One of his students raised her hand and asked, “But what about the coffee?” The teacher just smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The coffee represents the Holy Spirit! It seeps into every aspect of your life, surrounding everything in your life from the important things like the golf balls to the little things in life like the sand! Oh, and it enriches your life even more when you share the coffee with a friend!
Marsha, 1 Thessalonians 4:8
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