LAUGH, CRY, and LOVE, BUT ABOVE ALL LIVE…


Mark 8:34-38 – “When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” NKJV

Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers… 

I have seen, read, and heard this in numerous places and have no idea who to give credit to for the original story but it fits today.  I find application for it in my daily life and in helping to shape my world view and views politically as well.  My spiritual views are impacted by the message but my faith is founded on the Word of God and the clear teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as revealed in the writings of the 40 authors of the 66 Books Canonized in our Holy Bible.

When things in your life seem too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.  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. To further his message the professor 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 full. They agreed it was.  Clearly, on a mission with a message, the professor 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 a unanimous YES!

Then to the complete surprise of the class, the professor produced two bottles of beer 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.

WHAT ARE THE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED?

  1. 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.  Therefore, it is imperative that you

  • Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
    Spend time with your children.
  • Spend time with your parents.
  • Visit with grandparents.
  • Take your spouse out to dinner.
  • Play another 18 holes of golf.
  • There will always be time to clean the house, fix the disposal, or deal with things from your job.

The Ultimate Lesson is “Take care of the golf balls first” – the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.  Make your priorities things that are lasting and can bring you joy and happiness lastingly.  Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize.  Live do not simply exist.  Be do not just Do!  You Must Remember – – “Everything Else is Just Sand.”

It was at the point one of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.  The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’  The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.

Disclaimer – – I’m not advocating drinking, but the point is clear, and a couple of beers could be a cup of coffee, a glass of tea, lemonade, or anything.  Take time to enjoy life!  Stop and smell the roses along life’s pathway!

Life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.  (Luke 12:23).  If you are too busy to enjoy the people and events of life you are too busy with busyness to hear God and likely too busy to LIVE!  You are existing, achieving, and gaining things that will perish rather than building memories and treasures in the things that matter.  You may be leaving an inheritance of things, but you are not leaving a legacy of love and life.

So, please begin today making the MOST IMPORTANT the MOST IMPORTANT in your life.  There is time to do what is nearest and dearest to your heart.  Your management of time is up to you and if you desire God will help you “redeem the time” so that first things are first and your investment in lives will pay far greater dividends than your amassing earthly treasure.

God bless you as you go through this wonderful day in Him!

Read Mark 8:36-37 and Ephesians 6 as a foundation for what I have offered in this devotional today.  

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