Life is a wild ride, and it goes so fast! I never comprehended how fast time goes until I had my first child. Before Teresa, I always thought it was ridiculous how often people talked about how ‘time flies’ and how fast kids grow up.
Now I understand the shock in everyone’s voices when they mention time… Recently my daughter turned one and a half years old. I have watched her grow almost a foot in the past year, and to see her now sprinting around the house, I can say with certainty that the adage “Kids grow up so fast!” is the truest statement that I know. It will undoubtedly feel like tomorrow when I am hurrying my teenager to her first day of school at Dowling Catholic.
So, because time does fly, how can we maximize the time that we have?
Not too long ago, I was a student at Dowling Catholic, and, during class with Mr. Heinrich, he gave us a powerful image of priorities that I have never forgotten. He held a small Dixie cup at the front of the classroom. Life is like that small cup – life is short and our time is limited. That reality forces us to set priorities, whether we do so intentionally or not. Now, in life, there are major areas that should trump others – in his metaphor these were represented by rocks. All of the other daily things were represented by grains of rice.
First, Mr. Heinrich poured the slivers of white rice into the cup, and then attempted to pile the stones on top… until they overflowed and crashed to the floor. “Oh great,” I thought, “Just what I suspected – there’s never enough time to do all the right things, so I’m going to have to miss out or just never sleep.” But then he emptied the cup, and tried again.
The first try hadn’t even been close – it seemed like half of the contents ended up on the floor. However, this time, he placed the stones in the cup first, and they fit nicely below the crest. Then he poured the waterfall of grains into the fragile container, and they seeped through the cracks, filling up every crevice. There sat the small cup, full to the brim, but not overflowing.
The moral of the story is: Time is limited, so we have to prioritize it! The only way to effectively treasure what’s most important is to intentionally put the major stones into our lives first. For my husband and I, those vital stones are:
- Faith – Working on our personal and family faith.
- Family – Prioritizing our marriage and daughter.
- Service to Others – Sharing the love of God in tangible ways.
After those foundational ‘stones’, all of the extra, fun activities are just a bonus in this wonderful, fulfilling life that God that given us!
(Rachel Egan, St Theresa’s parishioner)