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A couple years back, I heard a guy share information from the below article that I’m copying in full.  I did not have kids at the time, and yet I knew it was on to something important.  I found it today at http://www.christianitytoday.com/moi/familyman/2004/cmn40924.html, and I wanted to share it with you guys and any readers that missed it the first time around.  –Justin

Marbles Matter by Todd Wilson

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–>Friday, September 24, 2004

Hey Dad,

I‘m not a math guy. I don’t do well with fractions, quadratic equations, or pi. I’m okay with counting, but that about does it. But, here I am writing to you about math and fathering … definitely, a Familyman first. In fact, I’ve been pondering math all week. It all started as I was tooling down the road listening to the radio.

The smooth voice on the other end explained how he was going to place a marble in a jar for every Saturday he had left of his expected life span. Since he was over fifty … it wasn’t a lot. Then, he was going to throw away one marble as each Saturday passed to remind him that his time was running out.

I’ve been thinking about marbles and math ever since. Let’s apply this marble principle to fathering. Say we got a big jar and placed a marble in it for every Saturday of our child’s growing up years (18 years or 900 marbles).

So if you have an 11–year–old (like I do), you have about 350 marbles left in the jar. You with me? 18 minus 11 equals 7, times 50 equals 350. In the case of my son, Ben, the jar is well over half empty.

Only 350 Saturdays are left to spend with him. That sounds like a lot, but it isn’t. And if you have a 15–year–old, you’re down to 150 marbles.

The thing about marbles is that you can only use them once. If you waste one by playing with the guys, being away on business, or spending it doing your own thing … it’s gone.

Right now, I’m holding a marble in my hand; it’s this Saturday’s marble. It holds a lot of promise. My kids long for this coming marble … I mean Saturday. They’re hoping for a backyard campout … but I might be too tired or the timing might not be good.

That’s the thing about marbles. We dads hold them in our hand. We decide what we’ll do with them, how we’ll use them, and then, when we’re done; we reach in the jar and toss them away.

That’s why I work so hard to remind you of what’s most important, because it all boils down to a jar full of marbles. I’ve set a jar of marbles on my desk to remind me that marbles matter.

Dad, let me encourage you to do a little math, and count how many marbles you have left with your child. And then make this “marble” a good one.

You ‘da dad! [Todd]

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