Need to fill up my cup!

My friend sent me the following in an e-mail. 
It's made the rounds many times.
Thanks Don - it's a timely reminder!
Hope you enjoy it!


When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,
When 24 hours in a day is not enough;
remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class
and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly,
he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar
and started 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
it 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.
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 - God, family,
children, health, friends, and favorite passions;
Things that if everything else was lost
and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter 
like your job, house, and 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 partner out to dinner.
There will always be time
to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

'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.'


Anonymous said...

I love this Karin. Thanks for sharing it. New Year blessings to you.

Ruth said...

Oh,I love that one.With your permission I would like to copy this and share it with some of my friends.

Karen said...

I had never read this. It is a great object lesson and so true! Blessings to you in 2011

Warren Baldwin said...

I've read this with some variations in it. This one is perhaps my favorite. I like the coffee bit at the end, b/c I so agree! Good post. Happy New Year.

Warren Baldwin said...

This might even make a pretty good illustration for a sermon, huh?

pam said...

Very timely...I have several friends whose lives are CRAZY...it seems that the beginning of a new year always makes us stop and really evaluate how we spend our time. I'm going to pass this on to them as they have been asking for prayer to use their time well.

Karin said...

Feel free to use - it didn't come with any credits. I think the famous An Onymous wrote it - lol!!

Sandy said...

I love the "two cups of coffee" part. That was new for me and makes the illustration all the better!!!

Happy New Year!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I love this one, Karin... I had read it before---but loved reading it again.. Thanks for sharing.

Happy 2011 to YOU.

Ginny said...

This is very good!! And I do like your pretty candle and holder. Happy New Year, Karin! May your year be full of good laughs, good health, peace and joy. AND many more great blog posts!!

Valerie said...

What a perfect story for today. I know I have read it before - but I had forgotten the symbolism. Thanks so much for sharing it. I love it!


Anneliese said...

I'd forgotten about this too...such a great visual to remember!
wishing you a Happy New Year and God's blessings.

George said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. I've not heard this before -- it's a wonderful story with a great lesson.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Hello...I have seen your comments several times over at Mari's blog and wanted to stop by and introduce myself.

As I read this [no, I don't recall ever reading it before so, thanks for posting], it made so much sense. This is exactly how I try to live my life.

Hope your weekend went well, and may I take this opportunity to send along Happy New Year's wishes too.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Ps....hope you don't mind, but I am now your newest follower.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

aw, Karin, that's such a beautiful story. It's the first time I read it. I definitely love it. I like the coffee part, especially since I am a coffee lover!


Doris Sturm said...

I've never read this before - it's fantastic. I'm going to share this on my facebook page, if it's ok?

Have a wonderful day and thanks for this enlightening post!

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

This is my first visit here today and I will be back. I have decided to follow along with you, please stop by Grace soon and follow HIM along with me too.

Velvet Over Steel said...

I absolutely love this story, Karin! Great reminder and lessons!!! Thank you for sharing!!! :-)

Hugs & Many Blessings to you,

Colleen said...

Just love this!!:)