Conserving My Yeses
I like to think of myself as a Yes-girl. I’m flexible, willing to go with the flow, and small change doesn’t throw me for a loop. I can often say yes to last minute plans and go along for the ride. (Don’t get me wrong–as a mom of twins I now also thrive off of a routine and a schedule!) But I like to be the fun-loving gal who’s down for anything.
What God has shown me more recently though, is that my time and resources are finite, and when I say yes to something, it ultimately means I’m saying no to something else. Whether I like it or not, I cannot in fact, do it all. (Again, don’t tell that to my super-mom ego!) For example, saying yes to a work happy hour means saying no to tucking my kids in at bedtime. Saying yes to playing with my kids may mean saying no to giving my dog that extra romp outside; or saying yes to date night means saying no to getting that exercise class in after work.
It’s not like the things I’m saying no to are bad things, I’m just weighing the yeses higher than the nos. I remember a cool analogy of this from church growing up, about rocks, pebbles and sand.
“A philosophy professor once stood up before his class with a large empty mayonnaise jar. He filled the jar to the top with large rocks and asked his students if the jar was full.
The students said that yes, the jar was indeed full.
He then added small pebbles to the jar, and gave the jar a bit of a shake so the pebbles could disperse themselves among the larger rocks. Then he asked again, “Is the jar full now?”
The students agreed that the jar was still full.
The professor then poured sand into the jar to fill up any remaining empty space. The students then agreed that the jar was completely full.”
The rocks represent the most important things in life: God, your marriage, your family, your health, etc. The pebbles represent important things–things that give your life meaning, but often come and go with different phases of your life. Think of these as your job, friends, hobbies, home. The sand represents material things and fillers- such as your favorite TV show and the car you drive.
If you fill up your bucket with the sand first, there is no room for the large rocks and pebbles. Even if you fill up on those pebbles first, there’s no room for those large rocks. Those large rocks have to be your first yeses, and the rest can fall into place.
So as you make your list of resolutions for 2020 and choose your yeses, be cognizant of what you are also saying no to. Don’t let your jar fill up on yeses to pebbles and sand. Save your yeses for the big rocks. I know this year I want more of my yeses to be focused on growing my faith, strengthening my marriage, and loving on my kids.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 (ESV)