I've been thinking a lot about rocks these past few days. Somehow I need to make sense of all the metaphors and images of rocks I've been thinking about. Please bare with me as I share my scatterbrained ideas.
It seems like any self-help book on how to prioritize or organize your life talks about the parable of putting stuff into a jar. The author uses different words, but it amounts to the same thing.
Imagine a pile of rocks, another pile of stone, a pile of pebbles, a pile of sand and a cup of water. Next to these piles is a glass mason jar and you have to fit them all in. How do you do it?
This may not be obvious to the person who is reading this for the first time, but for those of us who are constantly reading books like this, it is simple. Put the big rocks in, then the stone, then the pebbles, then the sand and then the water. You can get much more in if you start with the big stuff. Don't believe me; try it.
This is just like in life. When we put our things in piles of importance and then try to stuff them into the jar they will all fit if we put them in the right order. But the trick it knowing what is big. It is easy to see a rock is bigger than a stone or pebble. But it isn't easy to see that family dinner is bigger than son's soccer practice. This is where it gets complicated and worse yet, NO ONE can tell YOU what your big rocks are or what may be your pebbles. And even more complicated is that every morning you will find the same jar empty and the same piles sitting next to it ready for you to load up for the day. But guess what happened during the night--all the labels you put on those rocks, stone, pebbles, etc., slid off and you have to reattach the labels today!
Here is something else I've been thinking about rocks. We were reading in Matthew about how the wise man built his house upon a rock and the foolish man built it upon the sand. Of course the obvious interpretation of that scripture is building your house of faith upon the rock--meaning the Savior. But what about building your mental house upon the rock? My mental state has a better day when I build my house upon a rock, upon the steady things of life. There are a few rocks that the labels have been etched in stone (pun intended). Scriptures study and prayer are HUGE rocks and they go first. Faithfulness in my marriage is one that it think is so huge that it doesn't even fit through the mouth of the jar anymore--it is in there permanently. (If only a few other character faults of mine were corrected and then grew to big to fit through the mouth of the jar I wouldn't have to put them back in every morning and prioritize them.) What rocks do we build our life on? What are our big rocks? Do they change with the seasons of our life?
Recently I had a friend ask me if she was putting her business in front of her family? She was having a day of weakness as someone had rattled her cage. I wanted her to know that she had her rocks so well prioritized that her family always came first--no question about it. Her family runs well, not that there aren't hiccoughs along the way but her priorities are so well placed that she can deal with them with grace and ease: almost so no one even notices that there was a hiccough.
I'm not sure I dealt well with the rocks, stone, pebbles , sand and water in my life very well in the past few months. I've let a few things rock my foundation (yes, that pun was intended). Those who know me well know of the most earth shaking: the passing of my sister (August 2007), my nephew's daughter (February 2008) and my beloved mother (July 2008). Now, don't go thinking my faith has been shaken--FAR FROM IT! But my mental and emotional foundation got a little unstable there for a day, week, month or even a year or more.
On top of that add physical pain from my auto accident in 2002 (still dealing with muscle stiffness) and then a rotator cuff surgery in July (yes I did have surgery right after my mother passed away). I have been lazy trying to repair myself and recoup what physical and mental state I use to have.
The stuff I would label water has been sneaking in first. OK, it doesn't sneak in, I pour it in.
So let's set this house back on its firm foundation with the big rocks planted firmly in the corner and holding up the building.
Family (sometimes I have to put individual names on the rocks)
Church/Religion (scripture reading, prayer)
Education (mine and my children's)
Business (Heritage Makers--I'm going to make it pay eventually)
Health (gym workout and sleep--I should add eating, but then I might eat even more!)
Housework (I HAVE to put this here, although I would like to put it in the water section--especially if it has anything to do with cooking)
My "for fun" reading (I could read a good book all day long and be totally content)
Gardening (I wish I could move this up, but it needs to stay here until I can move a stone down here)
I'm not even sure I have room for sand ~smile~
TV and movie watching (I love to sit and watch movies with my husband and do so every night, but boy, it truly needs to be the water that I add in the end).
See it all can fit--eventually!