Monday, January 10

Making Room.

Read Psalm 33

The following is an excerpt from "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World," by Joanna Weaver, pages 102-104.

I've found I need solitude, a daily quiet time alone with God, if I am to have any hope of keeping my center. Left to my own devices, I am fickle and ever-changing. One day I am hot: "O Lord, I love you! Be glorified in me." The next day I'm lukewarm: "Sorry God, I have to run." I have found the words of the hymnist so true:

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.

The only way I've found to fight this wandering tendency in my life is to keep my heart centered on Christ, to keep my gaze fixed on him. But that takes time and an act of my will. I have to be willing to make room in my life if I want to experience the Better Part.

In his book First Things First, Stephan Covey tells the story of a man teaching a time-management seminar. In order to make a point, the man pulled a wide mouthed gallon jar from under the counter that served as his podium. He picked up some fist-size rocks and put them in the jar. Then he looked out at the class and asked, "Is the jar full?"

Some of the students, not knowing where he was going, blurted out, "Yes." The teacher laughed gently and said, "No, it is not." He pulled out a bucket of pea gravel and began to pour it in the jar. The class watched as the pea gravel filtered down between the rocks, filling the spaces until it reached the top.

"Now, is the jar full?"

The class was a bit reticent to answer. After all, they'd been wrong before. Instead of waiting for their response, the man poured a bucket of sand down among the pea gravel and the large rocks. He shook the jar gently to let the sand settle, then added more, until finally the sand reached the top of the mouth of the jar. Then he asked again, "Is the jar full?" And they said, "Probably not."

Now the teacher reached for a pitcher of water and slowly poured the water in the jar. It filtered down until it was running out of the jar at the top. "Is the jar full?" the time-management consultant asked. The class answered, "We think it is."

"Okay class," he said, "What is the lesson in this visual aid?"

Somebody in the back raised his hand and said, "No matter how busy your life is, there is always room for more!"

"No," the teacher said as the class broke into laughter. "That is not it!"

"The lesson is, class," he said when the chuckles subsided, "if you don't put the big rocks in first you'll never get them in later."

What a powerful picture of a powerful truth! It sounds like the same point Jesus made when he said, "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).

First things first, the Lord was saying. Take care of my business, and I'll take care of yours. Make room in your heart for me, and I'll make room for everything else.

Flower image photo credit to Aimelle.

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