As I write this, the Powerball jackpot for this Wednesday night was announced to be 1.3 billion dollars, or over 800 million in cash – crazy, stupid numbers. The odds are that there will be a winner this week, and a couple of things that came to mind. First, why such a frenzy? The odds of winning remain at around 290 million to one. And, everyone has heard the comparisons to things like being struck by an asteroid (1: 700,000), or being struck by lightning while drowning (1: 183 million……and a really bad day). So likelihood of winning the prize is highly unlikely.
But regardless as to how futile your chances may be, the draw is still overwhelming; even to those who do not normally play at all. The numbers are just too big. They grab you by the throat and demand your attention. (Like anything below 100 million was chump change?) And we give it our attention, because the mind starts running wild even though most of us are clueless of what to do with that kind of money. I mean, you hear people say things like, ‘I’ll take a cruise…’ (A cruise, huh? Where to? Jupiter?) Or, ‘l’ll buy my parents a house’ (I don’t think even the fed can sell the White House) or even, ‘I’ll get out of debt.’ (Really? I thought that only Donald Trump can rack up that kind of debt.) My point here is that most of the things people really want can be had without winning a 1.3 billion dollar lottery. But here we are, going out of our way to make sure we have at least a chance, however remote, to win the big one!
Then I got to thinking: What else would be as appealing, with seemingly similar odds that people would go out of their way to win? What is as appealing as winning $1.3 billion? Well, how about something in the line of eternal peace in the arms of a loving Father surrounded by a loving family of brothers and sisters, all of whom you have always known and will know forever? Indescribable happiness and enlightenment that had you at such ease you may possibly even remember what it was like to be in your mother’s womb? How about never experiencing any want: emotional, physical, spiritual…truly content as if you were finally where you belonged? How much would you pay for that chance if say, the odds were 1: million? 1: 1000? 1: 100? How about 10 to 1? Would you go out of your way coming home from work, or maybe wait in a line for an hour, if I said to you that you could have a 10% chance of winning eternal peace? I’m guessing you would take that chance,and make that effort.
But here’s the rub. God has already stacked the odds heavily in our favor. You can almost say the game is fixed. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ guaranteed us a prize without price. Consider for a second what you would feel like if you actually saw the 6 winning numbers on your ticket…think. What does that feel like? Hold that thought for as long as you can……
Now, if you believe that winning eternal peace surrounded by the love of God and your loved ones is even just a little like winning a 1.3 billion dollar lottery, then join me and start to show it in your face, smile, attitude and enthusiasm for the future…because you’ve already won!
The frenzy has gotten more immense by the second. I, for one, will continue my personal boycott of the lottery. And— boycott Vegas (and any other) gambling. Its a shame and very sad that our kind is so focused on money. There was a time in my life when I had so much it was a struggle to manage. Priorities and goals were misguided, so it created stress-did not relieve it. Father God has provided all thru life, and I don’t think he will stop anytime now. Lottery? Who needs it.