Acts of Worship
 Act of Worship Criteria


The passing of time and managing time wisely - the pickle jar theory.



Teachers’ Notes


The pictures should be shown in PowerPoint as the story is told. The ( ) shows when the slide should be changed. To attract pupils’ attention, we recommend the first slide is already on display as they enter.


The Main Text


(Picture 1)


Do you use your time wisely? Or do you waste time?


Time and the passing of time have attracted the attention of people for centuries, since the days of the Old Testament where it says that, “Man’s days are like grass”.


Everyone realises that time waits for no one:


“Time and tide wait for no man.”


More than one poet, for example Alfred Lord Tennyson, has noted that time is like a river:


“Men may come and men may go

But I go on forever.”


When you think about it, how we spend the time we have on our hands is quite odd. A few years ago somebody started analyzing how we’d share our time up between different aspects of our lives.


(Picture 2)


They estimated how much time we spend eating. It was estimated 10 minutes for breakfast, 20 minutes for lunch, 20 minutes for tea and 10 minutes for supper. That was a grand total of one hour each day. In a year that adds up to 15 days which means in a lifetime of 70 years, we’d spend 3 years eating!


(Picture 3)


Then, they started estimating how much time we spent sleeping. It was estimated, on average each person spends 8 hours sleeping. That makes a third of a whole day. In 70 years we’d spend 24 years sleeping!


(Picture 4)


And what about learning? After cutting out the weekends, the holidays and the hours spent at home, pupils spend approximately 43 days in a year learning - that means that we spend three times as much as this sleeping.


(Picture 5)


It’s so important that we manage our time wisely. There is a theory available to help us do this well. It is called the pickle jar theory. Take a pickle jar and fill it with sand and then try to put stones in it, you will find this impossible. But, why not put the stones in first? Then around the stones, you’ll see that there’s room for the sand.


(Picture 6)


Managing your time effectively is very similar to the pickle jar. If you start with the big tasks in your day, then work on smaller tasks and in the end go to the minor tasks, soon you will see that you can fit everything into your day.


Of course, the pickle jar theory means you have to prioritise. You must know which of your tasks are the main ones, the most important ones and which ones you could complete later on. Let’s say you have an essay to write and a gap filling task. The best thing to do is to start the essay and then there will be time to fill in the gaps. If you decide to start with the gap filling then you’ll soon realise that you spend too much time doing those things rather than writing the essay.


To manage your time more effectively you must account for leisure time. If you put the big stones in first, there will be more room for the sand – the leisure activities, if you like.


(Picture 7)


Quite often we see that we’re so busy doing other things that we do not have time for leisure, to stop, think and enjoy what surrounds us. The poet, W.H. Davies wrote the poem ‘Leisure’, where he suggests that people are too busy rushing around to stop and seize the moment. Listen to the poem:


WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Sometimes, we’re too willing to say that we have no time to do this and that, especially if it means going out of our way to do a favour. Someone once said:


“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”


(Picture 8)


There is a verse in the Bible that suggests there is time for everything. Let us listen to these words from the Book of Ecclesiastes:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

 (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)


PRAYER: Oh Lord, whatever today offers to me, be it to make new friends, or to help someone, be it recreational or hard work, help me grasp the offering, whatever it may be and realize that time is precious and missing this opportunity could mean that tomorrow it will be too late. Amen








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