I’ve seen the concept of getting priorities straight illustrated this way several times: a bunch of little rocks or sand are poured into a jar and then several big rocks are crammed down on top of them but they don’t all fit. Then the sand/little rocks are poured back out, the big rocks are placed in the jar and the sand/little rocks fit in around the big rocks and the jar can be closed.
It’s an effective illustration for why it’s important to make sure we take care of the truly important things first, but why does it work in our lives? Why is it that taking care of the big things first means we can also take care of the little things?
Often one of the biggest losses of energy in our lives is from worrying over little things and becoming upset with ourselves for not getting the big things taken care of. We know we should be spending time with God in His Word and prayer. We know we should be building into people. But we just have to get the floor swept and the laundry put away. We worry so much over little details that we don’t leave ourselves time for the big things, and we waste a lot of our energy in that worry.
When we invest in the big things, when we spend time in God’s Word and in prayer, when we focus on taking care of our family’s spiritual and emotional needs, we actually find that we are reenergized. Sometimes, there are times where we only have the energy for those things, but if we are doing those things, we find ourselves less worried about the small things. Often, though, putting those things first gives us the energy we need to take care of the little things. And it helps us weed out the unnecessary things. It’s amazing how much easier it is to not spend an hour doing nothing on Facebook when our batteries are recharged by taking care of the important things.