I somehow have to figure out how to have my head in the clouds my feet on the ground and my attention focused on what’s right in front of me. There’s a great line in an Ani DiFranco song, “As Is” that I always come back to. “When I look down I just miss all the good stuff, when I look up, I just trip over things.”
I know that being in the moment, right where I am at this very second, is where I need to focus my attention. When I start thinking about what I should have done, what I ought to do, I get into trouble. All worked up like a washing machine on tilt. Shaking back and forth and spewing leaks all over the people around me. And who wants to be leaked on??!! Ewwwww. But, that’s what happens sometimes and I hate to say it, but Matt and the boys are usually the closest recipients. I should have a t-shirt made that says something like, “Mommy’s on “tilt” again”. And you know, when that washer is on tilt, it’s usually because it’s too full. It’s a reminder for me to slow down. Take a few deep breaths and just be, right where I am and remember that God only gives you what you can handle. Thanks Steven for that reminder.
With everything going on I’ve been praying a LOT lately. Talking to God when I can. Asking for help, asking for guidance, asking for that path that he wants me on to be clearly laid out in front of me. He’s answering and I’m doing my best to listen and keep moving forward on that path. Matt’s a great help in this area. He’s wonderful about letting me talk to work things through and to remind me of what’s important, what our plan is and that he’s right there by my side.
Matt’s dad told me a story while on our trip to Michigan that he has told me before but is always good to hear. It was a great answer to my questions about priorities. How to get everything done and why I sometimes have to worry about little things that don’t seem to really matter when there are other bigger things on which to focus my attention. I’ll end with that story and if you’re heard it or read it before, maybe now is a good time to read it again.
The Big Rocks and the Jar: A Lesson in Making Priorities
A high school science teacher wanted to demonstrate a concept to his students.
He takes a large-mouth jar and places several large rocks in it. He then asks the class, “Is it full?
“Unanimously, the class reply, “Yes!”
The teacher then takes a bucket of gravel and pours it into the jar.
The small rocks settle into the spaces between the big rocks.
He then asks the class, “Is it full?”
This time there are some students holding back, but most reply, “Yes!”
The teacher then produces a large can of sand and proceeds to pour it into the jar.
The sand fills up the spaces between the gravel.
For the third time, the teacher asks, “Is it full?
“Now most of the students are wary of answering, but again, many reply, “Yes!”
Then the teacher brings out a pitcher of water and pours it into the jar. The water saturates the sand. At this point the teacher asks the class, “What is the point of this demonstration?”
One bright young student raises his hand and then responds, “No matter how full one’s schedule is in life, he can always squeeze in more things!”
“No,” replies the teacher, “The point is that unless you first place the big rocks into the jar, you are never going to get them in. The big rocks are the important things in your life …your family, your friends, your personal growth. If you fill your life with small things, as demonstrated by the gravel, the sand, and the water…you will never have the time for the important things.
So, what are the “Big Rocks” in your life? Spending time with your children, your parents or your spouse? Taking the seminar or class to get the information and perspective you need to succeed? Making the time to set goals, plan or evaluate your progress? When you are hassled because there is no time, remember the story about the Big Rocks and the Jar!