You decide this is the year you will finally get organized. Out comes the calendar. You know a cafeteria line of events are spread in front of you from which to choose. But you’re like a deer caught in the headlights on where to begin.

You remember a story about a seminar presenter who placed a wide mouth gallon jar on the stage. He filled it to the top with some big rocks. He asked the audience if it was full and they yelled back, "Yes!"

The presenter then took some smaller, gravelly rocks and poured them into the container. He asked again, "Is the jar full?" Catching on, the people said, "Probably not." Next went in sand followed by water until the jar was absolutely jam-packed.

One participant missed the point. He said, "You can always put more things on your schedule if you really work at it." The presenter countered, "No, if you don't put the big rocks in first you would never get the rest of them in."

You come back to your calendar and start marking the "big rocks": Birthdays? Baby Showers? Botox injections? Holidays? Vacations? Anniversary?

You get the point. Families, companies, even churches pull out the calendar and mark the most significant dates first. If some events are missed, husbands wind up on the couch. If others are missed, momentous moments can be forgotten.

Maybe that’s why God did an unusual thing with Moses. He had him pull out his Day-Planner and mark down some dates. Dates when his people would stop and party. God showed Moses which rocks to put in first: Sabbath to rest and reflect, a big festival to remember their rescue, and another one to remember when they had no home.

Your life would be marked by a holy intimacy with God!
What if your life was similar? You create Sabbaths in your year. Mark down your vacations first. Times where you will get away for relaxation, recreation, and renewal. Then find one day monthly where you turn off the TV. Turn off the computer. Turn off the world. Find other times you surround yourself with family and friends. Feast together. Remember the good in God’s creation. And other times when you remember to be thankful.

Your life would be marked by a holy intimacy with God, confident to the core of your soul that your sins are forgiven. And you would be marked by thanksgiving. Always thanking God for salvation, for victory, for life itself.

Along with more holidays, you might find more holy days. Put the big rocks on the calendar first this year. Then everything else will fit.

(Adapted from "The X-odus Files: Following God in an Alien Land" by Rick Brown & Reg Cox.)