I love learning something new. You’re never too old. I’m going to share a great story about a mayonnaise jar, some golf balls and a couple of cups of coffee. I didn’t make up the story, but I’m thrilled to share it. I only get credit for spreading the best lesson I’ve learned in a long, long time. Enjoy!
A professor stood in front of his philosophy class with a number of items in front of him. Without any discussion, he put some golf balls in the mayonnaise jar until it was full. He asked the class if it was, in fact, full. They all agreed.
He then picked up a box full of pebbles and proceeded to pour them into the jar. He shook the jar until the pebbles filled in the gaps between the golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They again agreed it was.
Next, the professor took a small pail of sand and began pouring it into the jar. The sand filled in nicely the small crevasses and cracks left from the many pebbles. The mayonnaise jar was definitely full to the brim and the students unanimously agreed.
Then from under the counter, the professor produced two cups of coffee. He poured them into the jar and they were absorbed by the pebbles and sand. Obviously, the jar was completely filled and every student awaited the results of the professor’s “show & tell.”
“Now,” the professor said, “this is your life. The golf balls represent the big things – faith, family, friends, service to your fellow man and your good works. These are the things that if everything else was lost, your life would still be full. The pebbles represent the important things in life – job, home, car. The sand is everything else, the little stuff.”
He continued. “If you filled up the jar with sand first, you would have no room for the pebbles and, worse yet, no room for the golf balls. Life is exactly the same way. If you spend all the time on the small stuff, you have no room for what really matters. How sad that would be.”
The lesson is obvious and was a great reminder to me. I was reminded that I should love God, enjoy my kids, take care of my health, enjoy my wife and take her to dinner. There is always time to vacuum, mow the lawn, do the dishes, fix the faucet, etc. etc.
One student asked, “What does the coffee represent?” “Easy,” said the professor. “There is always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a good friend.”
Wow! The first time I read this, it drilled into me. What a great reminder of what really matters. I have to get going – got coffee with a great friend. By the way, to my wife and kids, I love you very much! You’re what matters.