My life is always in flux. I never really know what the next day will bring. Truth be told, I’ve come to like it that way. Always, though, I try to guard my privacy, my quiet time, my writing time. Ah, notice the overuse of “I” and “my.” Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps.” The truth, then, is that there’s no such thing as “my” time. Our days belong to the Lord, and he won’t always follow the plans we’ve laid out.
Lately, life has been especially full of social engagements and friends in need. My “to do” list has been rewritten nearly every day to include less privacy, less quiet and less writing, but more listening, engaging and assisting. In the background I’ve sensed the Holy Spirit whispering these words, “People are the big rocks.”
The big rocks. Picture a large empty vase. Now imagine three slightly smaller containers, one filled with big rocks, one with pebbles, and one with sand. Our task? To fit everything into the vase. If we pour in the sand, then the pebbles, then the rocks…Uh oh. ‘Can’t get those big ‘ol rocks in on top of all the small stuff.
What happens if we fill the vase with big rocks first? Is it full now? Maybe no more big rocks will fit, but there’s still an awful lot of space in there. Once we pour in the pebbles, there’s room for sand to filter into the remaining nooks and crannies. Voila! Everything that needed to go into the vase has found its place!
We have to make room for the big stuff in our lives first, and let everything else fit in as it can. If some of the pebbles and a few grains of sand end up falling to the floor, that’s better than leaving out a rock. And in almost every case, people are the big rocks. Before a perfect home or perfect hair, before even a good night’s sleep or ______ (you fill in the blank), people take precedence. So, next time someone asks for a bit of our time, before we say no and go back to our pre-planned endeavors, maybe we need to listen, to see if the Holy Spirit is saying once again, “People are the big rocks.”