Winning the Lottery

mega-millionsWinning the Lottery

“Anderson Cooper won’t get mom’s millions” the headline stated.  And he’s happy about that.  “I think it’s a curse.  Who has inherited a lot of money that has gone on to do things in their own life?”  This was his response to the decision of his 90-year-old mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.  She told him there would be no trust fund for him.

Everyone has dreams of winning the lottery I suppose.  In the 1989 film, Back to the Future II, the antagonist makes billions of dollars by using a future copy of Gray’s Sports Almanac which detailed sporting events from 1950-2000.

Perhaps we all wish for a life easier than the one we have.  We wonder how life would be different if we won the lottery!  However history paints a picture a life of wealth different than what we imagine.  While money may promise a life of ease and unlimited opportunity it can‘t guarantee health, longevity or even sustained happiness.  The tabloids are filed with the sordid lives of the rich and famous.  But none of that has kept us from dreaming!

I wondered as I read Anderson Cooper’s story (Anderson Cooper is best known in his reporting for CNN) how my own life might be different if I had made different choices which might have secured a different financial future.  There have been many times when I have remained in a difficult situation or when I might have been able to buy my way to more prosperity if I had more money.   I have learned to be a plumber, electrician, carpenter, and mechanic because I couldn’t afford to pay someone to do those things.  I have realized that much of who I am becoming is because of the difficulties in and out of the church I have had to face.  If I could have, I would have paid someone or bought my way into a different place. At times I would have done almost anything to run away from my problems.

 “By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)  Almost all the greatest men and women in history attended the “school of hard knocks”.  The only one ever born who could have chosen a life of comfort, privilege and wealth, chose to be born among the working poor with little opportunity for advanced education or social standing (Jesus Christ!).  So while dreams may continue to abound of winning the lottery, just because “lady luck” doesn’t seem to smile on us it doesn’t mean we have a bad lot.  In fact, “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)

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