Happy Belated Feast of St. Agnes – Suggested project on putting God First.

Her feast day was yesterday, Jan. 21, 2019 and she reminds us, from our very first wreath, Wreath One, to Love God above all else.

She is a beautiful reminder to our young people (and ourselves) to get our priorities straight. If you search ‘balancing time’ or ‘jar of life’ you will find any number of videos or stories about this great visual on priorities but I haven’t seen or read them all so cannot verify their quality. Here’s my attempt –

You need three items in equal ratio: large rocks, smaller pebbles, rice or sand. You can use marbles, decorative glass, etc. You just need 3 items of three visibly different sizes. And a jar that could hold all three in the same ratio: one cup or even smaller for a smaller jar.

The largest item represents God and his will for you, the smaller items represent the other people in your life who need your help, assistance or even friendship while the smallest item represents what YOU want, your needs.

For example, get a large jar that can hold three cups and get one cup of each of the above. If you put in the smallest first (such as sand – YOU) and then add the next larger (small pebbles – OTHERS) and finally the larger (marbles/large stones -GOD) they won’t fit! The sand or rice will take up too much space, followed by the larger pebbles and the largest stones will end up spilling over the top.

BUT – if you start with what God asks of us (largest stones), followed by taking care of others (smaller stones fitting in between the larger ones) and finishing off with you and your needs (shaking into the smallest spaces the rice or sand) – they will all fit. Without a problem. Test it out and be amazed!

In other words, if we put God’s will as a priority, looking after those under our care or influence, and THEN, look to ourselves – everything fits. God’s will should be the largest thing in our life but we often switch it around thinking our needs will never be taken care of if we don’t go first. However, God loves us so much that we put Him first, He will make sure we are taken care of as well.

Try it at home first and then demonstrate it to your group. If you want to do it for everyone, you could switch it out to smaller jars such as pickle jars or even baby food jars and adjust the three items accordingly.

I’ve done it with baby food jars using navy beans (God), dried peas (others) and shiny decorative beads (you) as a nice contrast. You may need only tablespoons of each for each 1/3 so be sure to try it at home so your measurements are correct.

It makes a great visual for the girls and their Moms to keep on their dresser or kitchen window sill to remember to keep God first.

Here is another retelling of this demonstration from a website relating this to making exercise a priority: Story of Priorities

For me, starting out the day with God (either Mass, morning prayers or just great worship music) makes the rest of my day go more smoothly.



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