True confession: I bought a Mega Millions lotto ticket this week. It was kind of embarrassing. I walked into Chester Store and said (somewhat sheepishly), “I want to buy a lotto ticket.”
She said, “Great, which one?”
“A winning one, of course!” I said with a dumb and dumber smile.
She gave me that look that said, this guy is an idiot (how did she know?) and then proceeded to give me her canned speech about the variety of lotto opportunities available.
I asked, “How much to play Mega Millions?”
“Perfect! I’m in! Give me that favored-by-God winning lotto ticket!”
She was not amused.
Next thing I knew, I was walking out of the store with my winning ticket!
06 31 33 60 74 & 05 (The last number is the Mega Ball for you uninitiated.)
I was giddy all day. What if I win? I mean, somebody is going to win, so why not me?
I’d give extra to my favorite charities.
I wouldn’t quit my job and go buy an island.
I’d probably help fund cancer research or some other great cause.
When interviewed on thousands of television stations worldwide, I would give God all the credit. He would be the hero of this story.
Seriously, why would God let anyone else win?
At 8:01pm I logged on and went to the Mega Millions website. My hands were shaking in anticipation. I just KNEW I was a winner!
FOUL! What the lotto? This can’t be right. I refreshed my screen (must be a system problem), and I put my good reading glasses on to double-check the numbers.
Nada. Walang anuman. Ничего. Zip. Nothing!
This is crazy. Why wouldn’t God let a nice guy like me win?
Then a few things dawned on me…
• I probably wasn’t the only person praying for a winning ticket.
• There are no easy paths in life for 99.999999999999% of us.
• I don’t need money to be happy.
• In God’s economy, the way to win is to lose.
One of the greatest truths of our faith is found in these profound words of Jesus, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” Matthew 10:39 (NIV).
Maybe, just maybe, there’s more to life than winning the lotto.
Maybe joy and life—true life—don’t come from the things we think they come from.
Maybe the path to winning and living is losing and dying.
How about you? Where are you looking for life today? Remember, it’s only truly found in Him.
For the record, I’ve bought my last lotto ticket. I don’t want to waste even a dollar or a moment on something so temporary.
But still…it would have been nice to have at least won my buck back.