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Big rocks and little rocks - what are your priorities?

 March 2009 

During the month of March, as a family we have started having Quiet Times from John's Gospel and it has been a great blessing in our family. John 6 has been a special blessing for me. In verse 57, Jesus said this: "Just as the Living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me." In my experience the more I feed on Jesus (spend time with Him), the more I really "live."

The difficulty we have in our family is to make feeding on Jesus a top priority. I see that most other families doing the Quiet Times have this same struggle. Many years ago, I read a time management illustration that has greatly helped me and our family in putting Jesus first in our lives.

The illustration goes like this: You get a large jar or tin and fill it with rocks, gravel and free flowing sand. The jar or tin represents your life and the rocks, gravel and sand represent the things you fill your life with in order of priority.

The rocks represent the most important things in your life, and the gravel and sand, the least important things. Now if you place the gravel and sand in the tin or jar first and then try and put the rocks in, you will find you don't get many of the rocks in. The key is this: Put the rocks in first and then the gravel and the sand will flow in around the rocks and fill in all the empty spaces.

The main rock in our lives is Jesus, who is the Rock of Ages. There are other lesser rocks such as the food we eat, work, education, family times and relationships with other people. For us the gravel and sand are such things as entertainment, sport, computers and television. If we put any of the lesser rocks or the gravel and sand into our daily timetable first, then there won't be time for the main Rock which is spending time with Jesus.

Over the years, such things as TV have assumed far too high a place in our family. When I look back over the years, I shudder as to the amount of TV we watched. I was very busy and didn't watch much TV, but I always watched the news programs while we were having our evening meal. These news programs often went on for an hour and a half. When our boys finished their meal, they would go and do such things as playing computer games.

I deeply regret all those years missing the special times we could have had with our family over the evening meal. During the day, our children used to watch far too much TV, taking on values that we don't agree with. One such wrong value from TV has been the coveting of material possessions. Kathy & I have struggled to stop our children from being materialistic with all the advertisements of things they think they must have.

In recent years in our family, feeding on Jesus has greatly improved.

I had written this letter up to this point by the end of March, but I didn't get it posted on our website. On 5th April, at aged 92, Nana peacefully went to be with her Lord. She had a profound impact in the lives of her 9 children and especially on our family, who have lived with her for the past 15 years. I will devote the April newsletter to writing in more detail on Nana's passing.

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