What Goes In First

You've seen (or heard of) the thing with the jars and the rocks? How if you fill the jar with sand and gravel, you'll never get the big rocks in? It's all about what you put in first.

Here's a principle worth remembering: Priority determines capacity. In other words, the first thing(s) you put into your "jar" determines the capacity of the jar. The things you prioritize in your day (week / season of life / life) -- the things you decide have to be done even if other things don't get done -- determine what and how much you can fit into your life.

It's like we saw with the rocks and pebbles last weekend at TerraNova. With those pebbles in the jar first, there was just no way those rocks were going to fit in. No matter how much I cram, compress, economize, skim. No way. But put the rocks in first? It all "fits."

Priority determines capacity.

Which brings us to something the Bible talks about. A lot. "Put God first," it says. Over and over again, we're given this advice (/instruction/ command): Put God in first. And if you do that, the "God rock" will affect the capacity of everything else in the jar. Putting God first becomes the "organizing principle" around which everything else in the jar "fits."

Jesus put it this way: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well." In other words, as men and women who believe in God, we're called to "seek first" God's will for our lives. To prioritize / put in the jar first God's will for our lives and our world every day.

One of the most straight-forward and best ways to do that is to spend the first few moments of every day with God. Talk to Him. Talk to Him about your day, about what you've got coming up, about what you're excited about and worried about. And ask Him to guide you. Express your desire to know His will and obey His will in every one of your "big rocks."

My experience is that when I do that consistently (not just in the morning but again and again throughout the day) it positively affects the capacity of my day in many ways. Anxiety diminishes. Focus is clarified. My ability to "go with the flow" increases. And I'm more likely to end the day feeling as though I got the important things done, even if a few things on my to-do list were left incomplete.

Have you ever had that experience? I'd love to hear from you.