A lecturer stood in front of a group of college sturdents and said, "Okay, time for a quiz."
Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.
When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"
Everyone in the class said, "Yes."
Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.
Then he smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was onto him. "Probably not," one of them answered.
"Good!" he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a can of beer and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"
One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!"
"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all. These are things like your family, your faith, your friends. The gravel is things like bills, mortgages, your job. The sand is the stuff you worry about that doesn't really matter. That goes in last, because if it doesn't fit, life will still go on."
Another student raised their hand and asked, "What was the can of beer for then?"
The speaker smiled at the student, "Because no matter how full your life gets, there is always room for a beer."
So, tonight or in the morning when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the "big rocks" in my life? Then, put those in your jar, and put them in first, otherwise they will never fit.
A water bearer in China had two large pots. Each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One pot had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishment, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it was made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. I'm ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. The bearer said to the pot "Did you notice that there are flowers only on your side of the path but not on the other pots side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and planted flower seeds on your side of the path............ every day while we walk back, you have watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are there would not be this beauty to grace the house
Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots But it is the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You have just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.