What are the big rocks in your life?
This past week I remembered the passing of my Dad. It’s been 3 years since my father was called home to be with his Lord and Savior. I remember that day in 2012… it was a beautiful day… a warm, gentle breeze came streaming into the room he was in… just like it was this past week. I miss my Dad… very much… but I’ve experienced such a dichotomy of emotions since becoming a Christian related to my feelings about his passing and how these feelings relate to how I spend my time.
I know I should be happy for my Dad and not mourn for him for I know that my Dad is with his Father in Heaven. How do I know? My Dad was baptized at 82 years old and joyfully accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior! So, when he left this world, his life in Heaven was about to begin! And yet, I am sad… very sad, for having lost my hero… my best friend! I am sad because of all that I was hoping for with him in this season of our lives. Today, three years later, I am better able to rejoice in the memories with my Dad and can begin to praise God knowing that my Dad is free of pain, concern, and doubt, but I’m not fully there yet.
I’ve had well-intentioned people tell me “but your Dad had a long life… wasn’t that a gift?” Well… to tell you the truth, I believe that it has less to do with quantity of time spent than that quality of time shared. I have many regrets in my life… one is that I’m just now beginning to glean some wonderful insights that the Bible has to offer… Psalm 39 being at the top of the list. Some amazing wisdom the psalmist is sharing… “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend (Psalm 39:4-6).” WOW… it seems that things haven’t changed much since Biblical times… even back then, we needed to be reminded how precious the commodity of time was. Perhaps having read and better understood this passage, the time I did have with my Dad would have been more meaningful.
And while I can’t change anything with regards to my Dad, perhaps there is an opportunity for growth that I might be able to take away from all this. To start, no matter who we are, assuming God chooses for us to enjoy another day on this earth, we’re all given 86,400 seconds to use for the day… how will you spend it? If you knew you were only going to have 8 days left on this Earth, what unnecessary activities would you do away with so you can better utilize the 86,400 seconds we have each day? In one of Stephen Covey’s books on leading a more meaningful life, First Things First, he shares the story of a college professor who conducts an experiment with his class. He produces a large wide-mouth mason jar and a number of fist-sized rocks and places them in the jar. The professor asks the class if the jar is full and the class confirms that the jar was indeed full. The professor then produces a container of gravel and adds it to the same mason jar. Once again, the class confirms that the jar is full. The professor repeats this process with sand, then water, illustrating the point that unless you put in the big rocks first, or prioritize the most important things in your life first, you’ll never get them in at all as there are so many of life’s smaller issues to deal with on a regular basis.
What are the big rocks in your life? A project you want to finish? Time with loved ones? Growing in your faith? Your education or finances? A noble cause? Mentoring others?
Heavenly Father, keep us mindful to of how brief our time on Earth is… keep us in a place that we only have a certain number of days here on Earth, that only You know the number, so that we can focus on quality rather than quantity. Lord, help us to focus on the ‘big rocks’ in our life FIRST, so that we always have room for what matters most and to trade in those aspects of life that only provide temporary happiness with aspects of life that will grow us in faith and love towards You and our Earthy family. Amen!
gstefanelli (Greg Stefanelli)