Saturday, October 2, 2010

1000 Marbles...

I came across this story and wanted to share it with you.  I did not write it and the author is unknown.

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, of 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 kitchen, 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 the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning talk show. I heard an older sounding man with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself.

He was talking about "a thousand marbles" to someone named "Stan". I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say. "Well, Stan, 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 man 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 Stan, 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 Stan, 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 in my workshop next to the radio. 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 God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones...... "It was nice to talk to you Stan, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show's moderator didn't have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the gym. 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," I said. " It has 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."

How many marbles do you have?


  1. Honest truth? That story just makes me want to cry.

    Java I've got lots of time left, and I feel like I've got nothing to live for. I'm wasting my marbles because I don't have anything to do with them anymore.

    I had a really horrible day yesterday. Mother of the groom hired me for a wedding which took place a few days after I found everything out. She and her family all loved the pictures. Yesterday I got a scathing nasty email from the bride, whom I had never heard from before going on about what a horrible person I was. She even wrote and posted a review about me, inclued information about Matt and made it sound like I was having an affair.

    The MIL was horrified, as was the whole family and apparently it is causing this big rift because they all think she's lost her mind- I guess they don't know her very well because they got married very soon after meeting, but she already said all that stuff about me and posted it, damage it done.

    I feel like flushing my marbels down the toilet today. :(

    I'm going to go back to Apple Hill for an apple cider milkshake, so don't worry about me, but good god do I feel horrible right now. :( :( :(

  2. Lovely story. One must never take time for granted. Also nothing is more important than the people, who love you and whom you love too.
    I found a beautiful story in the internet and put it in my noted section in Facebook, it also tells about love and how one must show one's love without any sort of anger.
    Have great weekend.

  3. I follow this site because Java is so positive, which I notice is becoming a lost art among my friends as we grow older (I did not join because I can blog with 800 women!). I could not post how many great experiences I have had in my life, but I will say that I "forced" most of them. I have jumped at every opportunity presented to me in life and convinced myself that I had the energy to complete all my tasks. I have accepted every invitation to adventure that came my way, and when they did not come, I looked for them.

    I am happily married for a long time, with great kids and grandkids, and I look forward to the great grandkids some day. If I am fortunate enough to live to 80, I plan on setting long-term goals, the first of which is to try out for the Senior Olympics and make the team before 90. I am also a realist. If I don't make it to the end of the marble jar, I will have no regrets.

    Every day of my life has been exciting. I do not mean perfect. I learned many years ago that life is not a line that keeps ascending. It frequently dips into valleys. When it does, I just get happier because I know a peak is on its way. Just thought I'd share my outlook. Thanks.

  4. Thisis such a wonderful post!!! I feel like running out and getting marble jars for some people that I know in hopes that it will help them to live and enjoy each moment in their life.

    I know first hand just how precious and short life can be. I will be celebrating 4 years at the end of this month of both my death and birth , it thanks to the wonderful Trauma team at Sunnybrook Hospital and the the skills God gave them that I am here alive... !! Wonderful post... HHL

  5. what a powerful reminder. live life! now is all you have.
    thank you...


  6. so true. we must take time with who and what is important. we might not wake up the following day, and we would miss alot that should be special to us. rose

  7. I've read this story many times and it always is a good reminder of how much we should value every single day.


  8. Just following you back from Follow Me Back Tuesday! Sorry it's late! Your blog is very cute! Please follow me back @

    Thanks, Nicole Mariana

  9. Java! That was a beautiful post. I remember a pastor of ours telling us a story similar to this, and it totally made me cry. It is always nice to be reminded of the truly important things in life. Thanks!!!! PS...I have been away at Women of Faith but I am joining the Over 40 Bloggers. :) I'll be off posting the button now. :)

  10. Java,

    That's a truly beautiful story. Just one of the many reasons that....

    I've given you an Award! Please stop by at my blog for the details!

    Peace and Blessings,


  11. Beautiful post. It is important to take the time to be with people we care and love. My life is not perfect but what ever I have done has been with love and acceptance....

  12. So true that we treat every day as a gift - as tomorrow, and that jar of marbles, is no guarantee. I don't want to know how many marbles I have left (some would say I've lost them), but have learned in the last year to treat every day as if it were that last marble. Beautiful, Java - thank you.

  13. Wow - what a wonderful inspiration story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  14. What a poignant reminder to value both time and people.
    Have a great day Java!


  15. This made me weep. For a second time today.

    Thank you for sharing.

  16. Wow! That really makes you think- I see Saturdays as crazy rushing from soccer field to baseball field- and I just try to "get through it". It definitly changes my perspective. Thank you! We are here to enjoy what God has given us ...not rush through all of it.


  17. Really inspirational! Thanks for the reality check!

    P.S. You have received a “Versatile Blogger Award”. Check it out here:

  18. I am so ready to put a figurative jar of marbles on my mantle. The reminder about what's important is so important for me as a busy mom with too many responsibilities. Thanks for helping me realize what I do it all for. Life's unpredictable. I'm going to tell the people I love how much I appreciate them today. Thanks, Java.

  19. Wow what a great story. Thanks so much for sharing.


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