In a moral lesson class, the teacher explained to the students they should set priorities in their lives. If we don’t set priorities in life, our lives will be miserable. To demonstrate it to the students he brought a big jar and filled it with bigger rocks and asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was full. He asked the students to bring small pebbles from the nearby riverlet and to pour them into the jar. He shaked the jar lightly. The small pebbles rolled into the open areas between the rocks. The teacher asked the students again if the jar is full. They agreed it was. He asked the students to bring same sand from the riverlet and pour it into the jar. He shaked the jar lightly the sand filled up the little space between rocks and the pebbles. He asked again once more whether the jar is full. The students responded it was so.
Finally the teacher poured a bucket of water into it the entire bucket of water went inside the jar. The teacher said, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life”. The bigger rocks are important things of life: God, Family, Health, Friends are your goals in life. If you loose all other things, and only if those remained, your life would be still be full.
The pebbles, the sand and water are the other thing which represents like, job, house, car, money and hobbies. If we put sand and water into the jar we will not have space for putting bigger rocks. The same goes for the life. If we spent all our energy and time for other things, we will not have room for things that are important in life. We need to pay attention to things which are critical to our wellbeing and happiness. Hence, we have to set our priorities in the choice of things to spend our time and energy. Jesus says “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possession”(Lk 12: 15).
We need constantly to examine ourselves whether we have right priorities in life. If our priorities are topsy-turvy, our life will be topsy-turvy. Let us put first things first in life. Jesus invites us to seek the kingdom of God first. “But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, in all things will be given to you as well”. (Mt 6: 33)
Most Rev. Dr. M. Devadass Ambrose
Bishop of Thanjavur