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The Jar Of Life

I came across a story which I later found was documented in Stephen Convey’s book, First Things First. In the story, a lecturer conducts an experiment in front of his audience using a glass jar, many rocks, pebbles, sand and water.

He begins to fill the large jar with rocks until no more rocks would fit. The audience was convinced that the jar was full. He then added a few pebbles to the jar which trickled to fill the gaps between the rocks. This time the audience agreed that the jar was probably not yet full.

He continued, now pouring sand into the jar which filled the smaller gaps between the rocks and the pebbles. When the audience agreed that the jar was still not full, he poured water into the jar which filled the gaps between the rocks, the pebbles and the sand. The audience was convinced that the jar was now full.

Finally, the lecture explained that if we don’t put all the larger stones in the jar first, we will never be able to fit all of them in later. If you think of the jar as your life, what are the rocks in your life? Family? Love? Friends? Religion?

What we must remember is that it is most important to include the lager stones in our lives, because if we don’t do so, we are likely to miss out on life altogether. If we give priority to the smaller things in life (pebbles and sand), our lives will be filled up with less important things, leaving little or no time for the things that are most important to us and for us.

The rocks in our lives should be our family and our faith. Sometimes the less important things in life can distract us, filling up our time and keeping us away from what really matters. If we get our priorities in order, we can fit everything in. So, pray and seek spiritual guidance, spend time with your family, take your wife out, play with your kids and make time to recharge yourself this Ramadan. There will always be time to go to work and do your chores.

May Allah grant us the ability to identify the rocks in our lives and grant us Barakah in our time. Ameen.

Abdullah Osman
Gold Coast, Australia


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