Creating a Strong Foundation to Face Life’s Challenges
by Benjamin Marta
Have you ever felt like you’ve had a strong foundation in life only to see it crumble away when challenging times arrive? Really? Yeah, me too. Although, it’s nothing we can’t learn to fix together. We just need to better understand how to build a strong foundation that can stand the test of multiple hardships.
In the G.I.P. curriculum, G.I.P founder Melinda Rae teaches us how we can better prepare ourselves for facing these difficult times by learning how to place big rocks first to create a sturdy and strong foundation.
What Do You Mean By “Big Rocks”?
Well… big rocks… literally, like the ones you pick up at the river or on the beach. These are the type of rocks that stay in their current position for a long time. They aren’t bothered by the rain, wind, or snow. They are strong enough to face the challenges mother earth throws at them while they continue on living their awesome rock life.
How Do I Build a Strong Foundation?
Melinda uses the cool metaphor of rocks in a jar to demonstrate how a strong foundation works and how we can learn to create one. She says that “life is like a jar of rocks” and that once we know how to put each item in its correct place, we can then handle most anything life throws at us. Melinda believes the jar contains four items and describes what each of them represents to give us a better understanding of her metaphor. Below is how she describes them:
- Jar: This is you
- Rocks: The most important things in your life
- Pebbles: Important things, but things you can live without if you had to
- Sand: Things you just like to do that usually take time from the important things
- Water: God, who holds us all together
Now that we know what each item represents, we can take a few moments to discover what each one represents to us individually. We can even write them down on a piece of paper so we don’t forget. I’ll do it with you too. Don’t worry, I don’t mind waiting. I’ll be here when you get back. Go ahead, think away… got it? Ok, good.
Once we have taken this time to identify what each item represents to us, we can then start to place them inside of the jar. Melinda says we need to make sure that our “big rocks are laid down first… and the little pebbles are on top.” The reason for this is because if we put the sand or pebbles at the bottom of our jar, the weight of our big rocks will cause the foundation to move and eventually fall apart. But if we place the big rocks at the bottom they will stay firmly in place to create a strong foundation because the pressure from the pebbles and sand isn’t strong enough to make our big rocks move.
Melinda says that “learning to place ‘big rocks’ in the Jar first will give you a strong foundation. Having a strong foundation and not one made of ‘sand’ will assist you during challenging times.” So, the next time you feel like your foundation is crumbling, think about what you’ve identified here today as your “big rocks” and see if they are in place as your foundation. If you have accidentally placed sand or pebbles as your foundation, no worries, all you need to do is a little adjusting. Once you put those study rocks at the bottom of the jar, you will be able to make it through the many challenges life may throw your way because you have built yourself a strong foundation.