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A Thousand Marbles - James 4:14

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I received the following story in my email and it made me think, so I would like to share it with you.



A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.


I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whoever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles". I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.


"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well, but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital." He continued, "Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities."


And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles".


"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.  Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part.  It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays."


"I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy."


Marbles, like the days of our lives..."So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.  I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."


"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."


"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. 75 year Old Man, this is K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"


You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off.


I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."


"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.


"Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids.  Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."



As I said, the story made me think.  


How many marbles do we have until we run out of time? 


And when we run out, or our jar breaks unexpectedly, have our priorities been right - have we been pleasing in God's sight?


How have you been setting your priorities? Have the urgent things in life shoved aside the important things? We have to take care of the important things while we still have time! 


We all know that we have limited time on this earth, and it seems to get shorter all the time. James 4:14 asks "For what is your life?", and then warns, "It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."


When this life is over, we will have to answer for how we lived. II Cor 5:10 tells us "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad". Preparing to answer this question is important! Eternity rests upon the answer.


What answer will we give? If it is not Jesus, it is death, for we all have sinned.


What is preventing you entering the body of Christ?


Do you need to hear God's word to lead you to believe as in Romans 10:17?
Let us know and we'll study with you!


Is there a thought, or an idea you are holding to, that is preventing you from believing?
Let us know and we'll talk about it!


Do you need to repent, or turn away, from sin as in Luke 13:3?
Let us know and we'll encourage you! It can be done or God would not have commanded it.


Do you need to confess before men that Jesus is the Christ, God's son as the Eunuch did in Acts 8:37?
Do it now, don't put it off!


Do you need to be immersed in water for the forgiveness of sin as Paul did in Acts 22:16?
Do it now, and begin walking in a right relationship with God.


Do you need to return to walking with God after having left a right relationship with him?
Do it now, through repentance and prayer.


Whatever you need to do, please do it now and let us help you, before your marbles are all gone.


-- Zachary Van Tassel, June 2000 --


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