What a strange feeling it is, to sit in a place you love and know that all of your life makes sense on paper, but to feel so strangely out of place or out of sorts, adrift and at sea. This feeling can mean a few things for me. It can mean I have something I need to grieve, something I haven’t processed, or a dream that I am gripping a little too tight that’s causing me to subconsciously withdrawal from Jesus.
But sometimes it’s just that I miss my friend, Jesus. I wish He was here with me. I wish I didn’t let stupid things crowd Him out.
Jesus is the thing that has to go into the jar first, ya know?
When I was a kid they used to do that jar thing, to teach you about priorities. They’d have a large candy bar and then M&M’s or some small candy. If they put the large candy bar in first, the M&M’s could fill the space around it, and everything could fit, but if you put the M&M’s in first, then the candy bar would never fit at the end. I used to make them do it multiple times to make sense of it. I never was great with spacial awareness.
The point was clear- prioritize the main things first, and everything else will have time to fit in the leftover space, but if you don’t prioritize, the small things will crowd out the big.
Profound. Life. Lesson.
I started this year with very clear priorities. I asked myself in January to finish this sentence: “this year will be wasted if..” (Obvi, I don’t think this year will be wasted whatever happens), but it was a surprisingly helpful question to ask myself and the answer was on my tongue and clear to me before the question was even out. I don’t always know what faithfulness looks like, but this year I did. I knew. I know. I have things I am sure He has asked of me and those are the things that have to go in the jar first.
Jesus talks about the jar too. Well, sort of. He tells Mary and Martha that serving is all well and good, but only one thing is necessary. One thing HAS to go in the jar. Sitting at His feet.
And we all know that. And we get it. On Sunday morning we get it, or in our quiet times, but the problem with the jar is that our days don’t start with someone hitting pause on the world and giving us a moment to prioritize what we care about most that day. Most days sneak up on us, with the ping of the inbox or a text message or a kid throwing up in the bathroom or a dog needing to go outside or an alarm that didn’t go off or car trouble – things you never even thought to put in the jar – and things just keep getting thrown in that jar and by the time you remember what is essential, it no longer fits.
Which is why I’m sitting here feeling disconnected and out of sorts. Because work and sleep and friends and family – all these beautiful things – which I want in the jar – keep shoving there way in first, and the days are passing me by and the things that are essential – the things that matter most to me – are getting crowded out.
So thank God. THANK GOD for feelings. Because if not for this strange, disconnected, sense that something is wrong, I might have just kept going and I might not have realized, my jar is cracking and breaking and something has got to give.
I might not have slowed down enough to text a friend and tell her – I need to be with Jesus. And I might not have been motivated enough to sit down this morning and listen and sit and remember and wait.
Time to empty out that jar. Dump all the things on the table. Then Jesus goes first. Just Jesus. Seek first His kingdom, everything else that’s supposed to fit will fit.