March 9, 2006

The Mayonnaise Jar & The Coffee

Received 2 separate emails from different people today...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Mayonnaise Jar & The Coffee ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar... and the coffee...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your faith, your health, your friends, and your favourite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter. Your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the shed door.

Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled."

I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Then in another email, a friend shared the lyrics of a song in which she was humbled.... about her life and the legacy that she would leave behind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Legacy (by Nichole Nordemaan) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best
At such'n'such ... it wouldn't matter much

I won't lie, its feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy
Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, "Well Done" good and faithful one...

After reading the 2 emails, these questions popped up in my mind...

  • What are the things that matters in my life?
  • How am I relating to my family, friends and colleagues? Do I love them?
  • How have I pleased God in what I do?
  • How best have I been a steward of the things that He has given me, including time and money?
  • The 'important' things in my life... are they really that important? Do they matter to God? Do they take more priority than God and His work? Has many other little things clouded and overshadowed the things that SHOULD matter?
  • Have I genuinely loved God's people? When people are most unlovable, have I chosen to love them simply because God loves them?
  • What do I want to be remembered for when I die?
I am ashamed. Surely I fall short of it so much, too much. I pray that I might be constantly reminded... to make my time on earth to count for Christ...

0 other thoughts:

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