There is an old story about a jar of rocks, pebbles and sand. The jar was filled to the brim with rocks and those present agreed that it was full. Then someone added some pebbles, shook the jar gently and the pebbles rolled into the crevices between the rocks. The people said that now the jar was full. The person in charge picked up a jug of sand and poured it into the jar. The decision was unanimous, the jar was definitely full. The jar represents the fullness of our lives.
Everything in the jar keeps us busy. The rocks representing our partners, children, family, health, all the things that make our lives full. The pebbles are our house, job, car, friends, all these things help us to be fulfilled. The sand is everything else, the small stuff. The moral of the story is “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Here’s where I change the story from the original.
So what is the sand, the small stuff? Is it being kind in small ways, giving a compliment, offering to hold someone’s baby while they tend to their other child, saying hello or sending an email of thanks? Is it taking time to show your children the glorious sunset or just admiring it yourself? All the rocks, pebbles and sand in our jar of life keep us busy and full.
Jesus said “I come that you may have life and life in all its fullness.” John 10:10
But what kind of fullness did he mean? Did he mean us to be so busy that we don’t have time to notice or care about anyone else? Did he mean that gradually we would be so busy that we haven’t even noticed or cared about the people affected by the floods in eastern Australia, or the people suffering in Ukraine and Afghanistan?
On Thursday our students will be involved in Simple Living Day, experiencing in a small way how thousands of children around the world live every day. There is every chance they will be hungry when they come home. Before they eat their bread for lunch, they will be led by their SLT representatives in prayer. Our school value of belonging reminds us that we are all part of a larger global community as well as our own family, school and parish families. Our values of compassion and justice call us to be active in ensuring that all people have food and shelter. We need to express our value of gratitude every day as we work together to make the world a better place.
So as Lent progresses, where does our commitment to Project Compassion fit into that jar of life? Is it a rock, a pebble or a grain of sand?
Blessings to you all,
Assistant Principal Religious Identity and Mission