Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A jar of marbles?

Things to think about
There is more to do in the world than we can or even really want to do. This came across my desk about two years ago and then again last week. I’ve edited the story to condense it slightly:

I overheard an older fellow talking 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. It's too bad you missed your daughter's "dance recital" he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep 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. 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 a large, clear plastic container right here next to my desk.

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.

This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that 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.”

Why are we here on earth?
God put us here on earth to make a difference. In Genesis, it is written:

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

God gave us the earth and all that is therein with the charge that we should go forth being fruitful, subdue it and have dominion over it. What then is our charge, our commandment, our instruction?

To make a positive difference in this world, our world, more importantly God’s world, which he left in our charge. So our priorities are:

1 - If you are parents, your first priority is to make sure your children go to heaven;
2 - Your second priority is to be there to meet them;
3 - Your third priority is to prepare your children to meet the challenges of this world;
4 - Your fourth priority is to provide for the needs of your family;
5- Your fifth priority is to be of positive use to your friends
6 - Your sixth priority is to have fun doing the first five!

You have to take care of your country, so that your family will have an environment from which to get to heaven. You have to help your neighbors to the extent you can. Recall Jesus’ summary of the law:

THOU shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

If what you are doing is in conflict with what you are charged to do, change what you are doing. Eternity stretches from the past so far we cannot see it and into the future so far we cannot fathom it. Only today, the present, where the Hand of God touches the timeline to eternity, can we exist. While we remember yesterday and hope for tomorrow, today is where we live. Always. Yesterday was, tomorrow may be, but today is. Act today. Your actions will affect your today if tomorrow comes.

So, what are you doing and how does that fit into the plan? Do you need a jar of marbles to focus your life?

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