The Blue Marble

“[In an article for Decision magazine], Samuel Kamaleson illustrates [the difficulty of submission] through a Christian folk story from South India. … It opens with a young boy who loved to play marbles. … His special blue marble … had won him many matches. During one walk he encountered a young girl who was eating a bag of chocolate candy. … He thought to himself, I have got to get my hands on those chocolates.” The boy proceeds to convince the girl to trade all her candy for all the marbles. “He put his hand in his pocket, searching for the distinguishing cracks on the surface of the blue marble … [and] carefully pushed it to the bottom of his pocket.” Having traded her all but his lucky marble, he “thought his plan was a success and turned to walk away. As he began to eat the candy, he suddenly turned to the girl and asked, ‘Hey, did you give me all the chocolates?’ Our fallen nature persuades us to posture ourselves in the same deceptive and defiant attitude as the boy in this story. We want everything the kingdom of God has to offer. … But we are unwilling to give up everything for it. Many times there is a ‘blue marble’ in our lives that we seem unwilling to offer to the control of Christ” (Samuel T. Kamaleson, “Mangoes and Marbles,” Decision, January 1978, adapted in Christopher L. Heuertz, Simple Spirituality [Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2008], 116–17).