When life is filled with so many options, responsibilities, and expectations, how do we find balance in today’s fast paced world ?
One of my first jobs was working in a restaurant as a waitress. The very first things I had to learn to do was how to balance a tray with food and drinks on top. I was wobbly at first. Through all the busy nights and crowded alleys it was quite a talent to continue to balance that serving tray and make sure it would not fall. And, yes, a few times it did drop. 😦
Although I am not a waitress, I often still feel as though I am balancing a serving tray in my hands consisting of work, home chores, God, family, friends, fun, nutrition, and exercise.
And at times it feels at any a moment everything can come falling down off that tray.
One insult, change in plans, illness, can cause me to shift into a state that looks just like a pile of dishes and drinks that have just crashed to the floor. That is too much weight to carry…
Knowing that I was never meant to feel so weighted down in life…I find rest in this verse.
Matthew 11:29 says: ” Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
I wrote about my life being in the “Waiting Place” a few months ago. And thank goodness I can say that life has speed up in the right direction. I’m so grateful that everything unraveled for the good in my predicament. Now, a few months later, I feel a bit overwhelmed and rushed for time and it can even be hard to prioritize. Reflecting once again on the ever so popular book, ” Oh The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. The words that resonated the most were:
“Life’s a Great Balancing Act” ~ Dr. Seuss
A heard a wonderful story from a friend describing how we can keep our priorities in order. The story was surprisingly simple but powerful. It involved a jar, rocks, pebbles, sand, and water. Today, I am still gleaning from the wisdom of this story. As I’m working on my to-do list, I am still trying to find a time and place for everything to fit.
A high school science teacher wanted to demonstrate a concept to his students. He takes a large-mouth jar and places several large rocks in it. He then asks the class, “Is it full?
“Unanimously, the class reply, “Yes!”
The teacher then takes a bucket of gravel and pours it into the jar. The small rocks settle into the spaces between the big rocks.
This time there are some students holding back, but most reply, “Yes!”
The teacher then produces a large can of sand and proceeds to pour it into the jar. The sand fills up the spaces between
For the third time, the teacher asks, “Is it full?
“Now most of the students are wary of answering, but many reply, “Yes!”
Then the teacher brings out a pitcher of water and pours it into the jar. The water saturates the sand.
At this point the teacher asks the class, “What is the point of this demonstration?”
One bright young student raises his hand and then responds, “No matter how full one’s schedule is in life, he can
always squeeze in more things!”
“No,” replies the teacher, “The point is that unless you first place the big rocks into the jar, you are never going to get them in. The big rocks are the important things in your life …your family, your friends, your personal growth. If you fill your life with small things, as demonstrated by the gravel, the sand, and the water…you will never have the time for the important things.
So, what are the “Big Rocks” in your life? Spending time with your children, your parents or your spouse? Taking the seminar or class to get the information and perspective you need to succeed? Making the time to set goals, plan or evaluate your progress? When you are hassled because there is no time, remember the story about the Big Rocks and the Jar!
As I continue this year with new possibilities. I am going to think about this lesson that this wise teacher gave to his students, and continue to hold myself accountable to the “Big Rocks.” First, what are my priorities and why? And then watch how everything else falls around and inside those priorities. With the most important rock being God, I am reflective of this well-known verse…
“Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.” ( Matthew 6:33)
The bible tells us in James: ” that are life is like a vapor.” ( James 4:14) We have a finite or limited amount of time to complete the good work that God has already prepared for us. It can become easy to become distracted from the will of God with the “cares of this world.” I know I watch too much TV and fall short in so many different areas as well. Hebrews 12:1-2 encourages us to : “… lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..”
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
(I Corinthians 13:13)