Friday, November 19, 2010

Start with the Rocks

Lately, it seems that every day has one thing in common – laying in bed at night, realizing that the most important things I had wanted for that day were failed.  Sticking to the diet, exercising, and worst of all, Bible reading, were once again neglected in a day filled with work, cooking, cleaning, relaxing. Starting each day with good intentions, and finishing in failure, for various “good reasons”, was getting frustrating.  As Bill Murray said in “Groundhog Day,” “I wake up every day, right here, right in Punxsutawney, and it’s always February 2nd, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

This morning I was thinking about a sermon Pastor Chris gave years ago.  He told the story of a man being given a pile of rocks, a pile of smaller stones, and a pile of sand, along with a vessel in which to place them.  The man poured the sand in the container.  He put the stones on top. He added the rocks next, but there wasn’t enough room.  After trying to rearrange the large rocks in several different ways, the man decided the container was too small and gave up.

Another man came along, emptied the container, and started over.  He put the rocks in first, followed by the stones.  Some of the smaller stones fell in the crevices left by the rocks.  He then poured the sand on top, and it trickled down, filling in any open spaces between the rocks and stones.  Everything fit neatly.

Pastor likened these items to things that were important in our daily lives – the rocks being the most important, and stones of lesser importance, and the sand of still less important things. When the really important things in our life have top priority, everything else falls into place.  As I lay there in bed this morning, I decided to brew up some coffee, and start my day with the Bible, taking up where I left off months ago.

I read the short Book of Haggai (part 1, part 2) – and it dealt with God’s people putting their own interests ahead of God, and as a result, they were not prospering.  Hmmm... is this a coincidence?

These people would work and work, and their harvests were bad.  They had a little of everything they needed, but not enough.  It took God, through Haggai, to make them step back and look at the big picture – they pursued their own wants and needs first, while God’s temple was still in ruin.  Get up, He told them, and fix My temple so you can worship Me properly!  And they did.  Kind of like putting the rocks in the container first.

I redesigned my “To-Do” list today.  It now has three headings: Rocks, Stones, Sand.  Rocks has only two items – 1) meaningful, uninterrupted prayer, and 2) a manageable amount of Bible reading.  Sand left over from today will go in tomorrow’s list.  But I’ll know my foundation will be built on Rock, each and every day.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a 'thought-provoking' post. I too tend to get caught up in the sand of life forgetting all about the stones. Think I will do some rearranging of my priorities.