Big rocks priorities

What’s Most Important?

A few years ago, I was a speaker at a weekend Christian conference for men.  The illustration that one of the speakers used in his presentation just before mine has stuck with me ever since.  He demonstrated how our lives are filled with priorities of varying importance and size.  And what parts of our lives that these don’t fill up, something or someone else will gladly take advantage of the remaining space.

Big rocks prioritiesBig Rocks

To make his point, the speaker used two simple Ball mason jars as an illustration.  One he first filled half way with sand.  The other he first filled half way with larger rocks.

When he attempted to insert larger rocks into the jar of sand, some of the rocks would not fit and had to be left out.  Conversely, the second jar already had the larger rocks in place.  He then poured some pebbles, and then some sand to fill the remainder of the space in the jar.

Although this illustration makes it crystal clear that the larger rocks will only fit if placed in the jar first, it doesn’t provide any clarity as to what those rocks might represent.

God Has An Opinion On This

I’m sure if you surveyed 100 people you would find a myriad of different opinions on what the large rocks should be in a person’s life:  God, kids, marriage, saving for retirement, health, the environment, and so on.

When Jesus was asked what He believed the most important things in life to be, he responded in this way:

“The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.  And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strengthThe second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  No other commandment is greater than these” Mark 12:29-31 NLT

Love my neighbor as myself?  What did Jesus mean when He said that?  I believe His answer to that was recorded in the gospel of John, chapter 13, verse 34:

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” John 13:34 NLT

The Five Most Important Big Rocks

  • Rock 1:  Love God with all MY HEART
  • Rock 2:  Love God with all MY SOUL
  • Rock 3:  Love God with all MY MIND
  • Rock 4:  Love God with all MY STRENGTH
  • Rock 5:  Love others with JESUS’S LOVE

In my upcoming blog posts, I’ll go into detail explaining how God’s word teaches us and equips us to make these five big rocks central in our lives, marriage, parenting, home, church, work, and community.  When we prioritize these five rocks above all else, not only do our lives align with God’s ways, but the nature of the smaller rocks and sand will fit with among the big rocks in ways we could never have imagined.


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