Sometimes our minds drift to places they haven’t been in a long, long time. Today, for instance, I was thinking back to the playground an my elementary school. I remember carrying a tube sock full of marbles to school. I also remember my teacher taking them away and holding them until recess or even the end of the school day.
Do elementary kids till play with marbles today? Are they considered too much of a choking hazard to be tolerated on the playground? I’m not sure, but I smile when I think of those marbles – catseyes and bumblebees and clearies and steelies and and swirlies and the extra big shooters. We’d draw our circle and begin our games. Sometimes we’d end recess with more marbles than we started with and sometimes we’d end up with less.
There were two varieties of our official game. The first was “for keepsies,” meaning if your opponent won your marbles you weren’t getting them back! The second was “for funsies,” meaning we’re playing but when the game is over we take our own marbles back unless we decided to trade some (which was not an infrequent occurrence).
As I’ve grown up I’ve left my marbles behind – although some might say I lost my marbles! I’ve learned that very few times in life do we play “for funsies.” How I wish we could. As a pastor, I see so many shattered lives and broken families. I listen to men and women who wish they could go back and pick up the marbles they started with. In some of those cases, redemption and healing occurs – I rejoice in those times. Getting a second chance is a beautiful thing, but that doesn’t mean there are not lingering consequences for your choices.
Life is “for keepsies.” Don’t ever forget that. Before you pull out your sock full of marbles, before you draw the circle on the ground, before you pull back your thumb and take aim with your shooter, remember that life is not “for funsies.”