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Friday, May 22, 2009

What If You Won the Lottery Today?

I have never bought a lottery ticket. Mathematics tells me that I have nearly as good a chance of jumping out of an airplane without a parachute at 10,000 feet and living to tell about it. I, also, have never jumped out of airplane. (such a boring life!) However, I have watched the Mega-million numbers drawn on the news and wondered what it would be like to win a zillion dollars.

I have read and heard stories of winners whose lives were ruined by their new found wealth. They divorced. Their children became drug addicts. They filed bankruptcy within a few years and had to go back to the jobs they once had.

I have wondered: Did the winning of so much money make them into what they became or did it just reveal who they really were? Are the constraints on our lives actually good for us?

If you won the Mega-million lottery you would probably quit your job without anything meaningful to fill the time. Idle hands are the devil's workshop applies here. You will either find yourself doing good or doing evil. It will take some concentration to do good. You can lay on a couch and do evil.

Winning millions will not mean that your worries are over. You will still have to work on your marriage. You will still have to raise your kids. In fact, it may be much harder with lots of money. Kids won't understand why you don't get them anything they want. They will not understand the concept of honor that is earned by working hard unless you put significant boundaries around the things you buy for them.

It seems that many people stop worrying about their bills and concentrate on spending. The next fancier thing is bought for the garage or game room or whatever place in the new house. They may even give to their relatives and others generously. Each will keep asking for more until the winner stops giving. Then, the relatives will treat him horribly.

Still I don't know if it was the money that made the winners into what they have become or that it revealed what they already were.

It makes me think: Why would I do anything else if I believe I am already doing what God wants me to do? I need to change my direction to do what God wants me to do if I am not already doing so whether or not I ever won the lottery.

I don't think winning the lottery would change a person who already knew they were doing God's will. However, it may mean that they would never buy a lottery ticket. I mean . . . what would they gain?

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