Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tales from a Mega-Millions non-winner

I didn’t win the lottery. I would’ve needed better odds than a couple hundred million chances to win since I don’t play. But it’s hard to live in America during the last week without being inundated with images and dreams and false claims of winners and chances and unearned riches.

I get why people play the lottery. (Only marginally though since I’m a natural tightwad and see no sport in throwing money down a hole with virtually no chance of recouping a penny of it.) But I get the allure. I really do. Times are tough. Marriages are falling apart. Families are crumbling. Businesses are outsourcing. Pensions are worthless. And gas prices, well, don’t get me started on gas prices.

Americans need a light at the end of the tunnel. Hope. Something to cling to in uncertain and scary times. It’s fun to take a chance, to dream of a life transformed from the everyday, ho-hum to magical and exotic beyond our wildest fantasies.

Where is your hope? Would winning a few hundred million dollars make all your problems go away? Or make them hurt less? I doubt it. Money—even hundreds of millions of dollars of it—is only temporal. It doesn’t last. It doesn’t provide true peace. There is only one true hope that produces peace and joy regardless of gas prices and insufficient retirement planning.

Hope in a future of no pain, no sorrow, no loss, and eternal fellowship with our Creator is the only true way to happiness and fulfillment. It’s the only thing that lasts. I Peter, chapter one says we have been given a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and an inheritance that can never spoil, perish, or fade…

I don’t mean to belittle or lecture anyone who plays the lottery. That’s a personal choice. I won’t deny an unexpected windfall would be fun for a season. But may we put our hope in a treasure that lasts, where neither moth nor rust can destroy.


cbalmony said...

Oh man! I was hoping you'd win since you promised me half ... right? No, really, I get what you mean. We had a cleaning lady when I was a kid who came every now and then. She sang hymns while she scroured our house for a 12 hour day. Very poor and often came to the job wearing clothes we'd given her. She was so grateful she wore them with pride. And yet she had a joy and peace that resounded from her. One I didn't appreciate til much older. But I never forgot. She had Christ!

Teresa Slack said...

Connie, I know what you mean. I pray people will see God all over us. Our lives should be a testimony. I prayed with a woman at work today. Afterward I was nearly in tears, which I never do, and she was a stranger so I was afraid she would think I was a little weird. Thankfully she didn't & we had a wonderful time in the Lord. And it didn't cost either of us a dime.

Mary Ellis said...

I seldom play the lottery, and I would never play a lottery with a "pot" so large. I can't fathom that amount of money. I'd like to win maybe one million--then I could help family and friends, take a nice vacation and hire a cleaning service. More than that, the money would corrupt my relationships with those I love. I am so thankful I know the Lord. He bestows riches around me every single day. Happy Easter, Teresa.