A professor was assigned to teach a class on time management to a group of freshmen in Orientation.
So he walked into the classroom and set a glass jar on a table. Then he carefully placed, one at a time, a dozen large rocks, inside the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked a question, "Is the jar full?"
Everyone in the class said, "Yes."
"Really?" he asked. Then he reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel into the jar and shook it, so the pieces of gravel worked themselves down in between the big rocks. Then he smiled and asked once more, "Is the jar full?"
By this time the class was starting to catch on. "Probably not," one of them said.
"Good!" he replied. Then he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it filled all the spaces between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked, "Is this jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted.
Again he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour in the water until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked back at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"
One eager student raised her hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit something more into it!" Several classmates nodded in agreement. It sounded like a good answer.
But the teacher said, "No, that's not the point. This is a lesson in priorities. And the lesson is this: if you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."
And so this evening we ask ourselves: When it comes to our lives (our Time, Talent, and Treasure), how do we know what our priorities should be? How do we know what the big rocks are?
Life can become so busy with work and school, with home and church, with hobbies and sports. So how do we know where to start? How do we know what to put at the top of the list?
The standard answer is, "Well, what does the Bible say?" That's good, but my Bible has over a 1,000 pages and that's my small-print, ultra-thinline edition. My study Bible has almost 3,000 pages. It's a monster. I use it to work out.
Sometimes you sit down to read your Bible, knowing you need help. And it's overwhelming. There's so much in here.
So if you could sit down across from God and ask Him what matters most to Him, what would He say? What are His top priorities? If you've ever wondered this, you're not alone.
Jewish rabbis had identified 613 commandments in the Old Testament-- 248 "dos" and 365 "don'ts"-one for every day of the year.
And so with all those "dos" and "don'ts," rules and commandments, they then asked the question: "Which is the most important?"