No. 390

The next password is mark


One evening last week I said to Viola, Honey, can I take you to Stobys for breakfast in the morning? In her usual cooperative spirit she said, Sure, I will be happy to go. What she did not know at the time and wont until she reads this, is the reason I was motivated to take her. A few days before a very thoughtful reader, whose name is Janet Williams, had sent me something titled, 1000 MarblesSomething to Think About. This was an e-mail article that has been forwarded thousands of times to people across the country and sadly, to me, was written by an unknown author. This article contains a very profound message about the priorities we place on our time and the fact that someday all of our time will be gone. This reminds me of W. Clement Stones favorite saying, DO IT NOW. The truth is, if we dont, it probably wont get done.
As I share this article, please think about your own life and what you have been doing with your precious time. In reality, have you just been busy or have you been doing things that really matter? The emphasis here is on Saturday mornings and it begins, 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. ..
Turning the dial up on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net, I came across an older sounding chap. 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 have been busy with your job. Im sure they pay you well, but its 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 just to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughters dance recital. He continued, Let me tell you something, Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities. And thats 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 75 years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on the average, folks live about seventy-five years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and came up with 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me, Tom, Im getting to the important part. It took me until I was 55 years old to think about all this in any detail, he went on, and by that time I had lived through over 2800 Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be age 75, I only had about a 1,000 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 3 toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, Ive 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 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 to 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 K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning.
You could have heard a pin drop 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 up stairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. Cmon honey, Im taking you to breakfast this morning. What brought this on? she asked with a smile. Oh, nothing special, its just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while were out? I need to buy some marbles.
As I read and pondered this article, it made me realize that my priorities had been wrong for a good part of my life, especially in those first 55 years. Ive decided that in the future, if I cant take my wife out to breakfast, at least I can do the dishes. Did you know that no husband had ever been shot while doing the dishes? (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)

The next column password is: Mark