How to Keep Your Priorities in Order

Pouring Sand into of a Jar

I often hear from folks who want to reprioritize their lives. They just don’t know how.

I get it.

The world is moving faster and growing more hectic for all of us. It’s easy to feel pressured to do it all. From our jobs and the bills to school plays and soccer practice, everything seems important. But all that busyness leaves us with crumbs of time to scrape together for family and friends, and, yes, even God.

Where do we start to order our daily lives?

It isn’t easy, for sure. But maybe you’ll find this illustration as helpful as I did.

You have three jars, each one partially filled, one with sand, one with water, and one with large rocks. The challenge? Fit the contents of all three jars into only one. Some people might start with the sand because it would seem to take up less space.

But when you try to put the rocks in, guess what? There’s no room.

But if you start with the rocks, and then add the sand, you’ll find that it fills the crevices around the rocks. The jar looks full, but even now there’s room for the water to leach through the tiny spaces between the rocks and sand.

It all fits – as long as you begin with the big things.

The takeaway is pretty obvious. We have to focus on the important things and let everything else fit into the cracks that remain.

For me, the most important things are God and my wife and kids. From there, I try to let the Lord guide me each day and help me keep the main things the main thing.

There are days when the clamor of competing obligations distracts me from where my focus ought to be. But this illustration reminds me that if I mix up the order of importance, nothing will fit well – and I risk losing relationships with those who matter most.

Let’s remember God’s assurance in Matthew 6:

Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? … Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ … But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

I encourage you to keep working toward keeping the main thing the main thing.

And if you have practical tips for what helps you prioritize life, I’d love to hear them!

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Matthew Gripp More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic analogy for life and just how to prioritize!