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A Thousand Marbles


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 23/09/2013 -

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 on the radio and listened to a man talking about “a thousand marbles.” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.  “Let me tell you something, 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, people 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.” “No, stick with me, 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 of a large, clear plastic container. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focus 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 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.”  This man gave me a lot to think about. I had planned to work go shopping that morning, and then I was going to watch football. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “Lets go, I’m taking you and the children to breakfast.” “What brought this on?” she asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles…. “

 




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