Two jars of Marbles…

On my back desk…an old butcher block…sits a 3 gallon glass jar with 4,269 marbles. Every week I place a marble in the jar while asking myself, “You traded a week of your life off for something…was it worth it? Did I make lasting contributions somewhere during this week?” “What do I have planned for this next week and will it be worth spending one of the shrinking number of weeks I have left to live this side of heaven?

Each week it is a sobering experience. Some weeks I give myself an “Attaboy” and others I have to repent of wasting valuable time.

The other jar is empty now. The time has long since passed for me. Perhaps it hasn’t passed for you yet. Many years ago I had a smaller jar in which I put enough marbles to represent the number of weeks left until our youngest child turned 18 years of age.

Every week I removed a marble as a reminder of my responsibility to rear my children in the nurture and admonition of the LORD…and I had one fewer week left than I did last week. It was a constant and visual reminder of my God-given responsibility as a Dad.

Perhaps you will consider one or perhaps two jars of your own. It has been a great accountability reminder to me.

By the way, buying 5,200 marbles (about 100 years worth) is harder than you would imagine. I finally found a batch I could buy 2,750 at a time. I bought two boxes…heavy boxes. Only one was delivered and it was heavily taped and mashed up. The other box never came, so I figure somewhere there was a post office about 2″ deep in marbles. Called the shipper and he graciously shipped the second box…hence the two colors. The colors don’t mean anything…they just each represent a week in the life of Dick Ivey.