Church of England Diocese of Lichfield Alrewas

From the Vicar -January 2020

3 Jan 2020, midnight

As we all begin a brand new year and decade, and ask God prayerfully for ‘2020 vision’ to help us make the most of life’s opportunities and choices in this New Year,

I offer you this insightful and entertaining story to help you sort out what’s most important to you….

“When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar…and the coffee…

A professor stood before his class with 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 good-sized rocks. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They all 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 rocks. He asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured the contents into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the space between all of the rocks and pebbles. He asked once more whether the students thought the jar as full. This time, they responded unanimously with a resounding ‘YES!’ The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the remaining space in the sand. The students laughed.

As the laughter subsided, the professor said, ‘Now, I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the truly important things – your faith, your family, your health, your friends, and your favourite 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….your job, your house, your possessions.

The sand is everything else…the ‘small stuff.’ Now notice that, if you put the sand in the jar first, there is no room for the rocks or the pebbles. The same goes for your 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 fulfilment and happiness as a human being – especially your relationship with God, and quality time with your family and friends, cherishing all that you share together. In other words, take care of the ‘rocks’ 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!’”

With every blessing for a rich, full and fulfilling New Year to all ! Vicar John