One day an expert on time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration I'm sure those students will never forget.
"But this I say, brethren, the time is short..." (1 Cor 7:29, NKJV).
As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.
When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"
Everyone in the class said, "Yes."
Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.
Then he smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was onto him.
"Probably not," one of them answered.
"Good!" he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted.
Once again he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"
One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!"
"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."
My question to you today is this: What are the big rocks in your life? In other words, what are the priorities in your life? Pesach starts at next sunset, initiating three intensive celebrations that Yahweh has commanded His people to observe. We are 14 days into the New Year and it's 'action time'. Many more new choices will present themselves and you will need to decide whether the things you intend to do are Rock Class, Gravel Class, Sand Class, Water Class or indeed non-Class...things Yahweh doesn't want you to do at all. Then you will need to decide what proportion of your time should be used in accommodating these various classes of activities. So what should you do?
Start with the big rocks. I know what mine are: Time with Yahweh in prayer (personal relationship with Him, fixing issues). Time with family members. Time educating my children. Time with Ministry (writing, evangelism, pastoral care). Time fighting anti-homeschooling legislation and other key battles. Time securing finances. Time to repair the house damaged from last winter. Time repairing damaged relationships and bringing lost people home. These are the big rocks of my life right now. As other things present themselves, so they will be added as gravel, sand or water. If I don't get the big rocks in first, I'll never get them in later because time rapidly fills up with other things.
May Yahweh bless you in your Passover preparations!