When you’re a kid there is plenty of time to do the things you want to, do but when you become an adult things change. Most of us end up working at least five days a week just so that we can make ends meet and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to do the things that we truly enjoy.
Sure, we do have the weekends and the occasional day off during the week but they can easily be wasted – and it’s a shame that they are wasted because if there is one truth in this world it is that we have a limited amount of time on this earth.
I have a story for you today, it’s an old story, one that has been circulating the net for ages but it is one that will get you to think and hopefully encourage you to spend the rest of your time on this earth doing what you love the most.
The Marbles Story
I love my Saturday mornings and it seems that the older that I get the more that I enjoy them. Maybe it’s because of the fact that I don’t have to work, or maybe it’s down to me being the first one awake and it being nice and quiet. Whatever the reason, I find the first few hours of a Saturday morning very enjoyable.
A couple weeks back, just like every Saturday, I headed to the patio with the morning newspaper in one hand and my regular fresh steaming hot cup of coffee in the other. What began just like a typical Saturday morning however pretty quickly turned into one of those lessons; one of those lessons that life just seems to give to you every one in a while. Let me tell you all about it.
I turned the radio on and flicked through the channels before I decided to settle on a Saturday morning talk show. On that talk show was an older-sounding man and he had one of them golden voices, the kind of voice that would make him perfect for the broadcasting business.
He was telling the person on the talk show with him something about “a thousand marbles”.
Needless to say I was rather interested and decided to pay closer attention to what this man was saying.
“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 went on, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.”
It was at this time that he started to explain all about his theory of a “thousand marbles”.
He said “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.”
Of course at this point I was totally hooked on what he was saying and wasn’t going anywhere, I had to hear what this old-fellow had to say.
“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 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.
Believe me when I say that you could have heard a pin drop on the radio when this man – this man with the golden voice signed off. That’s what happens when you give everyone a lot to think about. I did have plans that morning, I had planned to work. However instead of working I headed straight upstairs and woke up my beautiful wife with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.”
“What brought this on?” she replied with a smile.
“Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a while 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.”