Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours
in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in
front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large
and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then
asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the
jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas
between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the
jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space
between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends
and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they
remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house
and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. "If you put the sand
into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the
golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy
on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are
important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play
with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your
spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to cl ean
the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things
that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee
represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

My sister-in-law sent me this this morning. It is a good reminder. Just remember that the first golf ball you put in should represent God. Going to spend some time with him now. Talk to ya'll a little later on.


SunnySusan said...

I love this Sharon....thanks

Be Blessed

Halfmoon Girl said...

great reminder to give ourselves permission to enjoy the things that really matter.

Debrand said...

I liked this. I've heard of it done with walnuts and rice and a Christian message.

Nise' said...

Our beloved Beth did this illustration on one of her study videos and I can't remember which one. Thanks for the reminder!

Bev Brandon said...

i really liked this object lesson a whole lot and had forgot that Beth had did it...i don't know who you are or how I found you but if you are from lovely Louisiana, i like you already...i am originally from New Orleans...and i met a man at LSU that changed my whole life and his name was Jesus...

Karen said...

I read this some time back somewhere, and I am so glad you posted it. Sometimes I am holding on to the wrong balls and dropping the others all over the place!

gledwood said...

that's very well put!

guess how I found you?...

via the google logout page ... blogs updated at xx:yy hrs ...! haha!

I will take your url for later reference this is a v interesting blog here. All the best



Gledwood said...

I hope you don't mind I borrowed your mayonnaise jars quote for mine... of course I gave your name & link back!

all the best


Gledwood said...

Hey you didn't come round and see it? Did you? But the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee was a hit by my place. Wonderful stuff. Do you know where your sister got it from? I love collecting pearls of wisdom and am fascinated to know where this originated from ..? ...