The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee


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

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.

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 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
a 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, 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.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take
time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse 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 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."
Words of Hope:
Avalon's Army of Angels