A man teaching a time-management seminar pulled out a wide-mouthed gallon jar from under the counter that served as his podium. He picked up some fist-sized rocks and put them in the jar until they reached the top. Then he looked out at the class and asked, "is the jar full?" Some of the students, not knowing where he was going, blurted out, "Yes." The teacher laughed gently and said, "No, it's not." He pulled out a bucket of pea gravel and began to pour it in the jar. The pea gravel filtered down between the rocks, filling the spaces until it reached the top. "The jar must be full now, right?" Without waiting for the classes response, the man poured a bucket of sand into the jar. He shook the jar to allow the sand to settle and then added more sand until it reached the lip of the jar. "Now, is it full?" "Probably not" they answered. He then took a pitcher of water and slowly poured the water into the jar until it began to over flow. "Now, is it full?" "We believe it is!" He then asked, "What was this visual aid showing?" One student answered, "No matter how busy you are, there is always room for more!" The teacher said, "No, the lesson is, if you don't put the big rocks in first you'll never get them in later!"
So what does this have to do with the Bible and with God?.... Just something God has taught me in the last two weeks :) First let me show you a verse that goes along with the story above and then I'll tell you my story.
Matthew 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
The last two weeks of my life can be described as a dark and crazy whirlwind. I went from working two days a week to 5 and a half. I wasn't prepared and so I was freaking out about grocery shopping and cleaning and cooking etc. etc. etc. I'm one of those people that needs at least one whole day to myself to get stuff done. An hour here or there just doesn't cut it. And as stuff piles up I tend to get stressed out. With all my responsibilities begging for attention one very important aspect of my life was being put on the shelf.... My relationship with Christ. I read my Bible here and there and prayed quick little prayers, but I wasn't digging into His word like I was before. I was doing it more out of obligation than out of love and excitement. I kept telling myself, "I'll do it tomorrow!" Or "Monday will be a better day!" But like the time management teacher said, "If you don't put the big rocks in first (God) you'll never get them in later." And if you don't get the "big" rocks in everything else tends to shift and move and just go crazy!!
I noticed I was worrying about everything and trying to get it all done on my timer and through my plan. I was stressed from the moment I woke up, until the time I finally fell asleep. I was getting irritable with my husband again, and found myself getting hurt or upset about things that really didn't matter. I wanted to pick fights with people, even people at Walmart! I found myself falling back into the person I once was. Selfish, manipulative, moody, and just over all not fun to be with. I kept begging God to help me. I constantly thought to myself, "People do this all the time, I should be able to get by! Why are things so crazy?" But then as I read my Bible study and talked to a few people I realized, DUH! It's because I'm worrying so much about all the little things in life instead of focusing on God and giving Him my day to do with whatever He needed to do. God didn't come first in those crazy weeks. I was worrying about "food and cloths" even though God specifically says do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. (Matt. 6:25-31) God knows what He we need. We don't have to worry about them. We then get back to Matthew 6:33 where it says, seek first the kingdom of God, then the other things will fall into place.
I guess the one good thing that came from not doing my devotions and spending quiet time with my sweet Lord was that I realized how much I had changed!! Just by reading God's word and learning a bit about who He is and seeing what He's done has taught me to trust in Him and to see things through His eyes rather than my own.
I've always been bad about sticking with things, diets, exercise, you name it and I've probably quit it after about a week. I've always wanted direct results from what I was doing. Riding an exercise bike only gives you a result after a LONG time of riding! But within a few weeks I had noticed changes in my life when following after God and surrendering to His plan. And now I'm seeing just how extreme those results were! My husband even told me he had noticed quite the difference! It's awesome! And I can honestly tell you that I'm getting back into it. Why wouldn't I want to spend time with our Awesome God who is changing me into a better person! Just imagine how different I can be if I spend the rest of my life doing this! So exciting!!! Not I, but Christ within me :)
Thank you Jesus for showing me that if You are the focal point of my day, of my life, all the other pieces of my life will fall into place. Maybe things wont turn out the way I wanted them too, but by trusting in You and following You, You have taught me to trust Your will and to see that it is the best way! The fact that You are with me makes every moment of my life meaningful. I thank You for all these wonderful truths that You have been revealing to me. I love You sweet king! Amen