Losing Your Marbles
In the only psalm that Moses wrote, he gave us this verse, “Teach us to count our days, that we may gain a wise heart.” (Psalm 90:12, New Revised Standard Version) The originators of the “Think Orange” initiative have been thinking about this verse. They are the folks who are finding new ways for the church to partner with the family to relay Christ to the next generation. (Orange is the combination of red, representing the bloodlines of the family, with yellow, representing the light of the Gospel.) As they think about counting our days, they have imagined a jar full of marbles. Each marble represents one week. If you start with the day we are born, and put in one marble for the first eighteen years of our life, you end up with a jar full of 936 marbles (52 weeks for 18 years).
Were we to start with 936 marbles in a jar when a child is born, and then take one marble out each week of that child’s life, we would end up with jar half empty at age 9, and completely gone at age 18. Each week, we would watch as the time passes by, the marbles disappear. Week by week, we are losing our marbles. We are losing the opportunity we have to influence the life of that child.
So, what is best for us to do, before we lose our marbles? There are some things we may never be able to do. We may never be able to persuade a toddler to enjoy Brussels sprouts. We may not be able to prevent a teenager from seeking independence. But there are some important things we are able to give our children (and one another of any age), to let them know why their life matters to God.
Reggie Joiner, founder of the “Think Orange” movement, has written a book called Playing for Keeps, Losing Your Marbles (Orange Publishing, 2013). He offers six specific gifts we can give others, over time, that will make a significant impact on their lives. He says, (1) “It takes time, over time, to make a history worth repeating.” (2) “Love, over time, is the one thing that matters most.” (3) “Words, over time, can impact someone’s direction in life.” (4) “Stories, over time, move us to imagine a world beyond ourselves.” (5) “Tribes, over time, show us how we belong.” (6) “Fun, over time, makes a friendship go deeper.”
Our first sermon series for 2014 will explore these six gifts, and how we can share these gifts with one another, as parents, as mentors, as friends, as Christians. Here is the schedule:
- January 5 “Time Matters” (Psalm 90; Ephesians 5:15-20), Holy Communion and installation of church officers
- January 12 “Love Matters” (1 John 4:7-12), Reaffirmation of Baptism
- January 19 “Words Matter” (Proverbs 15:1-4)
- January 26 “Stories Matter” (Deuteronomy 26:1-11)
- February 2 “Tribes Matter” (Acts 2:42-47; Romans 8:15-17), Holy Communion
- February 9 “Fun Matters” (Luke 15:11-32)