Sermon Illustrations

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours

in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar... and the wine...: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 proceeded 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 them into the jar.

He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas

between 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 infamous "yes".

The professor then produced two glasses of wine 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

recognise that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things. Your family, your children,

your faith, your health, your friends, and your favourite passions.

Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your

life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter. 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.

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. Play another 18. There will always be time to

clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls

first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just


One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine 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 glasses of wine with a friend."

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