Tuesday, January 24, 2006

And God laughed

Sometimes I think God must have a real sense of humor. Remember some of us have talked about "signs" recently?

Well, today I've really been down in the dumps (it's that Jan. 24 thing...) I've been watching American Idol, wasting a couple of hours. And I started thinking I wish I could find some sort of motivational help to pull myself up out of this funk I've been in about my life.

I hadn't checked the mail today, so I just went to the mailbox and there's a letter from a Realtor I've met with a couple of times for business. Nice lady. There was a little note from her.

"I pray you will 'Be Moved' beyond your wildest dreams and that this year proves to be your best year ever. And remember ... don't just wish for it, go out and make it happen!"

She signed it "Be Moved" with her name.

Also in the envelope was a copy of this story:

1000 Marbles

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement 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.

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 whomever 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.”

“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 right here 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 D9NZQ, 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.”


FrenziedFeline said...

I love it!

By the way, since we're created in God's image, and God created all things, and senses of humor exist, I'd have to say God DOES have a sense of humor. :)

Trixie said...

Absolutely! Remember when Sarah found out she was pregnant? "And God laughed."

Yeah, I think getting pregnant at 90 would be a laugh riot too... LOL!!!!!

TECH said...

Oh, I can see Sarah laughing when she finds out. Hysteria does that sometimes ... :)

FrenziedFeline said...


Hysteria, shock--yep, that would make anyone laugh just to keep from losing it. :)

Trixie said...

I love this story and plan to send the link to my husband who is one of those "young men working 60 hours a week".

A side note: My maternal Great Grandmother passed away two years ago at 104. She had her faculties and wasn't on any medication. She was blind but had her hearing. She outlived all 3 kids, their husbands, and two of her own. So when she was 102 I asked her:

"Granny, if you had known you would live this long, would you have continued to have more children?"

She stay in the sun on the covered porch listening to the birds in the yard and was thoughtful. She explained that in her day having a big family was a sign of one of a few conditions: (1) a farm family (2) a poor family or (3) a whore.

Granny was very proper and raised in a well to-do family. She had 10 grandkids and 20 great grands and lived with our family for 10 years.

Then she said that she would have absolutely had more children!

She would have outlived the social stigma and the nay-sayers. She might have still had a living child to share her last few years with and of course, she loved kids.

So I think Sara was a mite shocked and surprised but never underestimate a older woman's desire for family.

Trixie said...

Trixie, that is a great story! And just in case anyone is confused, the Trixie above is a new friend who just found my blog. I've found hers as well.

I know well that desire for a child, though I was never in a position where I could move forward with having a family of my own. I'm now 50 and childless. Maybe I can adopt grandchildren!