UP Sunday: Losing Your Marbles

As a dad of two little boys, I always knew I was losing my marbles. But the real question is, “What’s at stake when you lose your marbles.” To clarify, the marbles I’m losing don’t have to do with my mental capacity (though I’m sure someone could make an argument for that); they have everything to do with the time I have with my children. You see, if each marble represents one week I have with my boys from the age of 0-18 years old, then I have a total on 936 marbles to work with before they graduate and become independent adults. Suddenly, losing my marbles just got real… so how do we make the most of each marble?

Psalm 71 is a story of an older King David calling out to God for protection and judgement against his enemies. The beauty of this Psalm lies in the hope that the writer has in God’s righteousness and goodness that he has experience throughout his life. At one point, David says, “O God, you have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation.” In this account, David recounts how he was able to walk with God through the trials of his life (and current trails). It was because God taught Him in his youth. Of course, when you take a closer look at what that would have implied, it was more than David receiving visions and hearing voices from God as a child. More likely, David received instruction from his father, mother, uncle and family friends who passed on the scriptures and their stories of God’s faithfulness in their lives.

Take a moment and think back on David’s life, just as he’s doing in this Psalm. What story jumps out? If you’re like most people, you are probably thinking of David’s great fight against the giant, Goliath. When we consider David’s words here, I think we can connect some very important dots that should change how we view the next generation today. David did not walk out of a vacuum when he encountered Goliath mocking all of Israel and their God. He did not simply think, “You know what, I feel like I’m going to fight this decorated soldier who is bigger than anyone I have seen in my life, because I’m feeling lucky.” No, that would not be faith… that would be stupidity. Rather, David walked onto the battlefield with a full understand of the faithfulness and power of His God. David had been taught from his youth, and now that he was facing a giant, he was ready to trust in his God to deliver him. Do you think David would have fought that battle if He had not hear of God’s faithfulness and strength growing up?

Now, back to Psalm 71:18, David understood the impact of those who spoke God’s word and faithfulness into his life at a young age. As a result, he committed to God that he would share his story to the next generation to come. David understood that his hope grew out of the faithfulness of God he experienced through his life. He also understood that if the next generation had any chance of standing up to whatever giants would arise, they needed to hear his story of God’s works.

Now, back to losing our marbles. Though David might not have had a jar of marbles to mark the next generation getting older, he knew how to make the most of each week. He knew he needed to declare the works of God to the next generation. As a father, I want to do everything in my power to make the most of each marble… but even then, I don’t think that’s enough. I know that I need the stories of others in my sons’ lives so they can hear what God has done around the world. The truth is, if you know, love and follow Jesus, you have something to share to the next generation. You play a part in making the most of all the marbles.

My two boys are going to grow up and face some pretty nasty giants that are mocking their faith and God. My prayer and goal is to make sure that they have a full grasp of God’s faithfulness, goodness and power when they encounter those giants so they can continue to walk with Jesus. So how about you. Will you help make the most of the marbles we have left with our kids? If you know, love and follow Jesus, you have something to share.