I can still hear in my mind, the sounds of the marbles as they entered each new level after being dropped into the crudely carved hole on one end of the top board. The first level gave a high sound as the marble ambled along the slightly tilted strip of wood inside the box.. They picked up speed with each of the five levels.
The box my father made from orange crates probably wouldn't catch the eye of today's children. They were simpler times. It was unpainted and was all of three inches wide, two feet long and a foot, maybe a foot and a half high. It was my older brother's.
There were times when one marble at a time being plopped in was not good enough and we dropped hand-fulls in as fast as we could, creating quite a rumble. If the marbles jammed, all we had to do was shake the box vigorously side-to-side and away they would go.
Sometimes I would lay a hand on either side to feel the vibrations made inside the labyrinth's dark caverns as the marbles raced down the inclines. At other times, I lay my ear on the top wood to hear the sound better, especially the next to last which had a deep bass pitch. The assorted tones came from thin strips of different woods: oak, maple, walnut, pine and hickory. Odd how much enjoyment a few pieces of wood and a bag of marbles gave us.
No matter what kind of marbles we used the end results were always the same; put them in the top and they shot out of the only opening on the bottom. We never expected anything to change. It was a simple contraption that entertained us hours on end.
“Stupid they say, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” People going around the merry-go-round of life and not changing their way of doing things is on the rise. Popping pills, drinking yourself into oblivion, shooting up or running away, all produce the same results each time. Probably the saddest thing is that there is no one there with you to hold you up.
Kind of like the parable that Jesus gave about where you build your house. If you build your life on sinking sand, it's already going down, but add to that the storms of life and you soon are defeated, nothing to grasp or hold unto. The house has no foundation and is not built on solid rock.
Believers face the same life issues as non-believers with one sharp difference; they have someone to turn to every time, someone to see them through the hard places.
All through scripture we are admonished again and again to choose life rather than the death of living without the Savior, Jesus Christ. Refusing to make a change is not something new, nor the giant issues we deal with on a daily basis. No, God has been calling men and women to come to him since the beginning of time. One of the examples I think of often is Moses and the snake found in Number 21:8, NIV.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
God is use to rejection, rebellion and people thinking they know best. In the case with Moses, who was trying to lead the people from slavery into freedom, there was always drama and this was just one example of people who were grumbling and complaining and wanting their own way (kind of like us).
God sent fiery serpents among them and when the people were bitten they died... unless... they looked up to the snake wrapped around a cross. Easy right? Get bit (by a snake or the world) and live simply by looking up to what was held up for them to see and be saved. Did everyone live. No. One could say what was written in black and white and stamped by God was not good enough. And these were the people who had seen, with their own eyes, God in action: they walked through the Red Sea on dry land, saw water come out of a rock, etc., etc. We are asked to believe and use our eyes of faith.
The great lie is that God is not enough. We want bigger marbles, something that dings and bings when new levels are conquered. Somehow there has to be more, more, more. Back to the marble box - drop a marble in and listen and wait until it comes out. Plain? Yes. Simple? Yes. Complete? Yes. Satisfying? Yes. Lasting? Yes. There was a time when we were grateful for simple things that worked.
That's a good description of Jesus. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, look to me and live.” That's not complicated. Jesus is complete in and of himself for our salvation. He is the water of life and the bread of life. Most importantly, once we look to him, we not only begin to change how we live with better results, but now gain everlasting life.
You won't have to rely on memory, which is often faulty, but your joy will be new every morning and he will put within your heart a continuous melody. Where do you look to find answers that give you life rather than a monotone, flat, same old, same old?
Come, hear the heartbeat of the Lord as you lean on his breast and ask him to be your all. Jesus isn't a marble box. Your life will change... for the better. The process is simple and it works!