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Losing your marbles
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

Kids love to play games. Today most game-playing for children revolves around video games. In the days before the video craze, people had to find other ways to entertain themselves. Living on the farm provided lots of work to keep young people busy, but growing up in the city was a different story.

Our responsibilities were to go to school and do well, complete your homework and other chores around the house. Things like cutting the grass, taking out the trash, feeding pets and maybe washing and putting away dishes were also expected. But, there was a lot of time available for playing.

One of games boys played was marbles. For those who may not know, marbles are hard, smooth round objects. They were different colors with some having beautiful designs inside a clear hard exterior. Those were called “cat eyes” because they looked very much like the eyes of a cat. The object of the game was to win the marbles of your opponent. A simple circle was drawn in the dirt and the marbles placed inside the designated area. Whoever knocked a marble out of the circle got to keep it. One marble was held between the index finger and thumb and then flicked outward as a projectile toward the marbles in the circle.

The object was to hit a one hard enough to bump it outside the circle, and the “shooter” got to keep the marble.

It was never fun to “lose your marbles,” and the expression came to be used to describe someone who was very upset and seemed to be losing his mind. It really was upsetting to lose your marbles as I very well know.

Sometimes people would get so angry fights would erupt, or friendships might end.

The “game of life” has its winners and its losers, and losing is never fun. Perhaps you feel as if someone has taken something from you that is rightfully yours and it still stings. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:31-32). Those who forgive are the real winners.

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