Sunday, May 26, 2013

Things That Matter

Thanks to all for the concerns and prayers for Oklahoma. The tornado was a real monster in every sense of the word. It was classified as an F5 with winds reaching 210 MPH and it devoured everything in its path.
The Moore tornado was surely a tragedy of great significance affecting the lives of more than thirty thousand people. However, after some introspection, I realize personal tragedies happen to good people every day. Although they don’t attract the attention of the national media, that does not make the feelings of loss any less significant for those affected. 
I don’t recall who sent this to me, but it seemed to resonate a good message in the difficult times in our lives when we experience an actual F5 tornado, or if we are facing a personal tragedy more intimate, that just feels like an F5 tornado.  

God’s blessings to all,

The Things That matter

 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 philosophy class and had 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 golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.
So 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 golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous "yes."
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.
Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.  The golf balls are the important things -- your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite 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 like your job, your house, your car.
The sand is everything else -- the small stuff." 

If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for 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 happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups.  Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls 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," he said. "It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,  there's always room for a cup of coffee with a friend !!!"


  1. I really like that story George, it's definitely visual and thought provoking. Thanks for sharing!
    :) Cali

    1. Cali,

      Thanks for the comment. I am a visual learner and so I too liked that story. Life really is about staying focused on what is important, but there are certainly a lot of things that try to divert our attention!

      Blessings to you.


  2. Glad you're safe George. I really feel for all those who lost so much to that monster tornado. We had our own tornado scare last night and all I could think about while the tornado sirens were sounding were those images I'd recently seen of Moore Oklahoma. Thankfully, in our case, the only damage is to trees, shingles, etc. Love the message about what really matters in this life. I don't think we can be reminded of that often enough. Thanks for sharing it :)

    1. Queenie, good morning.

      Glad to hear that you had no major damage. I saw the weather last night on the weather channel and the storms seemed to go from Dallas up the plains almost into Canada! It was all mighty ugly looking and I got a close view of a lot of it. I was flying yesterday afternoon from North Dakota back to Oklahoma! I am glad you enjoyed the story.

      Blessing to you,