Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Last Sunday morning I used a variation of the devotion "The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee" for the lesson in our ladies Sunday school class. I don't golf so instead substituted "juggling balls". (O.K......I don't juggle either but did have these on hand.......and I omitted the coffee)

Here is a recap of the "original" story that I took this object lesson from:

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 a 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 God, your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite 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 like 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 time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal." "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.'

As I prepared for this lesson I was reminded of a verse of Scripture that sums it all up...Matthew 6: 33…”But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

If we'll seek Jesus Christ first, then we don't have to "sweat the small stuff" because He will take care of everything else!



Yolanda said...

This is such a great lesson, and most everying that is a trial, is the small stuff.

In the current, it may not seem small, but if we can separate, or take a step back and look objectively, it is.

Love YOU!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

what a great lesson to remind us to always seek Him first.

Sr. Ann Marie said...

My brother sent me this by email sometime within the past year--when he was still able to use the computer. He didn't say much other than it was a good lesson. He died in May, a year after having been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. For the last 7-8 months of his life he was unable to use his arms and legs and for the last two months he was unable to speak. Your post reminded me of him. I'd say he learned the point of the demonstration very well. Thank you for reminding me!

Cindy said...

All through my childhood, my dad would tell us "don't sweat the small stuff". We have to seek Jesus first. Great post.

Jackie said...

What a great illustrated lesson of what's really important in life!

Thanks for the great reminder!

Sweet Blessings!