Imagine that you were given a jar, a few large rocks, several smaller stones, and a couple of handfuls of sand. Then you were asked to fit all of the rocks, stones, and sand into the jar. Interestingly, if you started by filling the jar with the sand and working your way up to the rocks, you wouldn’t be able to fit everything in the jar. You would run out of room. However, if you started by placing the large rocks in the jar, followed by the smaller stones, and ended with the sand, you would be able to do it.
In many ways, our lives are like the jar. You have capacity to get things done, but you don’t have unlimited capacity. You only have twenty-four hours in a day. There are only 168 hours in a week. The rocks, stones, and sand are like the various tasks and priorities that demand our attention. The large rocks are the things that are most important. The smaller stones are less important things, and the sand represents small, trivial things.
If you try to randomly fit everything into your schedule, you’ll end up leaving important things out or not doing them very well. Instead, you have to prioritize the most important things, in order to get them done while giving your best.
If you’re going to make disciples who make disciples, you have to make it a priority. That’s what Jesus did. While crowds of people constantly wanted His time and attention, He intentionally and strategically invested in a few followers who would reproduce their lives in others.
To make time for the things that matter most, consider the following suggestions:
1. Take an inventory of your schedule.
Review your last few days and ask yourself how much time you’re spending on things that aren’t important and don’t matter in light of eternity. Your goal is to eliminate things that don’t matter so you can concentrate on the things that matter most.
2. Repurpose the time you already have.
Instead of thinking that you’re too busy to make disciples or lead a group, look at the things you’re already doing and ask how you can leverage those things for the purpose of disciple-making. For example, instead of eating alone or with a random group of friends, could you intentionally invite a potential disciple to share a meal with you?
3. Be flexible and creative.
When people have things come up that prevent them from attending your group, don’t get upset; get creative. Technology provides with resources to communicate and stay connected in a variety of ways. Think outside the box and keep your group moving forward.
Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Matthew 6.21 ESV. Our time, energy, and resources will always follow our heart’s desire. The truth is, we always find the time to do what we love to do.
This blog originally appeared at How Do You Make Time For What Matters Most? – discipleFIRST and is an excerpt from their Student Series books, Invest In A Few.