Sunday, 12 June 2011

Fitting it all in...

I had the chance to teach the adult Sunday school class at church today as the regular teacher is away for 3 weeks.

The lesson was taken from Matthew 25 which contains 3 parables, The 10 Virgins, The Talents and The sheep and goats.


As I was preparing it struck me that each of these parables encourage us to "raise the bar" and become better people. I was also very mindful that often when we go to such lessons, we can come away feeling inadequate, that there is just too much to do without doing more. So I determined to start with an object lesson to remind that we can always do a little more.

In a modern life, no matter what our faith is, the feeling of being overwhelmed is a common one so here is my take on it...

Consider our life as being a glass which we can fill with whatever we choose. Without a plan, we tend to just fill it with things that may not be the most important to us, represented in this case as sand.


Regardless of whether you are a glass half full or half empty type of person, the glass does have a limited volume, thus when we try to fit big things in, problems arise. Those big things, represented by the pebbles could be work, study, family, a church responsibility or simple things like prayer. 
  

As can be seen above the glass (our lives) become just too full, with no room for anything else and we feel something has to give. So we begin to throw things, often in a last in, last out order. But there is a better way. Its initially harder, but has far better results. Sometimes we have to stop, re-evaluate and  restart with a better plan. The best plan is to fit in the biggest most important things first.


Amazingly if we do this, we can actually fit more in. When the sand is added back it all fits, in fact even leaving space. A little thought and you see that the sand going in last, fills all the tiny spaces and gaps. So it is with life, things that are not important can be fitted in around those that are if they are started in the right order.


A word of warning though, if we pull out one of those big items, the sand will fill its space instantly, this makes fitting it back in again a problem.
Likewise if we choose in life to drop a good activity or habit, it is a fresh struggle to fit it back in


There is no reason to despair though, at any point we can stop, re-evaluate and  restart with a better plan. In reality the challenge is not fitting everything into a busy life. The real challenge is having the desire to...

Stop , re-evaluate and  restart with a better plan.

To find happiness we need a reason or a push to do this re-evaluation, it can be come in many forms, a change of circumstances, a suggestion from a friend or even reading a blog ? 
For me its all of the above but attending church each week and listening to lessons that encourage me to do more and improve are also a reason to ...

Stop , re-evaluate and  restart with a better plan.

7 comments:

mybabyjohn said...

If I counted all the times I stopped, re evaluated and started again with what I hoped was a better plan......I'd still be counting. Sometimes the original plan is the right one, you just need to persevere.

RJR said...

I agree, there are times when the only answer is to get on and do. Perhaps it would have been better to say...

Stop, re-evaluate and IF REQUIRED restart with a better plan.

As always thank you fora taking the time to comment

Jenny said...

Love this! I'd heard the illustration of the rocks and sand before, but it was nice to see it in images. I turned 30 today, and this is a GREAT time in my life to stop, re-evaluate and restart! ;)

Raejean said...

Your stop, re-evaluate and restart reminds me of the "Start, Stop, and Continue Method" I learned at Woodbadge (Boy Scout Training). As a Cub Scout Pack, we use it monthly to evaluate Pack Meetings but it could be applied to any event, small or large.

We look at the previous Pack Meeting and ask what should we start doing, what should we stop doing, and what should we continue doing.

This has improved our Pack Meetings and has the power to improve any area we wish to improve.

Cathy said...

Great insights! Mind if I borrow?

You're a week ahead of us. I taught Matthew 24 today.

Crystal Pistol said...

I love lessons that make me stop and re-evaluate. I'm always striving to be better and sometimes it's hard to tell how to accomplish that goal.

I love your object lesson. Thanks for sharing. Well thought out and fun. The glass itself made me chuckle. :)

RJR said...

Thanks for all the comments ! Cathy feel free to borrow. Crystal glad you liked the glass, its Mrs RJR's, when I grow up I want one too ;)

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