Are you a loser too?

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Lotto Balls

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?”

“A buck.”

“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 tithe.

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!

What? YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Those aren’t my numbers!
Lotto Ticket 1

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.

Sigh.

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11 Responses to Are you a loser too?

  1. So, for the first time in MANY years, I go and buy a Mega BS ticket and give it to my daughter for her Birthday. We prayed, and asked God that if He was for it, well, we had done our part. As above, He would be the winner. Alas, that didn’t happen, but I am happy that the winner did. Will I buy another? Maybe. Depends on circumstances. Do I depend on it??? Never. I am on the path, and am happy to be alive, but looking forward to that last step here and the next with Jesus. He promised it. I am taking Him up on His promise. Would have been nice though to make sure my Family, Friends, and Church would be taken care of financially forever!!!

  2. Have you ever thought about the chaos that would be created if you won the lottery? People would quit tithing because they wouldn’t need to. In their thoughts, they are not cheating God or themselves or others because, well, Kurt is taking care of the church! It would no longer be East Point Church. It would be Kurt’s Church. In fact, it would no longer be about God – it would be about Kurt.

    I did not buy a ticket this time but I have in the past. Of course I would tithe. But I also know that I’m pretty fond of my hard-earned money and my thoughts would not be ones of cheerful giver. So, once I find out I didn’t win, I thank God for that blessing of keeping me closer to Him.

    You are a great pastor and I love reading your blogs.

    Thank you,
    Mary Ann McKnight

  3. I’m in such a fog that I didn’t know the lotto was all that high until my girls asked if I was going to buy a ticket. My response was that I didn’t want to drive to Idaho to buy a ticket. They laughed because I didn’t know that Washington sold tickets for big lotto games. I set my sights a bit lower. I bought $5 worth of tickets and put them in bins at the Davenport for the Christmas Elegance trees. Well, I didn’t win a tree either and the odds were a ton better. Guess that makes me a loser too. But I’m okay cause I already had my tree up at home. It would have been a drag to have to take it down to put up one that I won. I’m saved that particular challenge. God is good!

  4. How right you are ,I said the same things about winning the lottery ,I would do this and do that ,it took my focus off of what is really important thank you might be a loser in the lottery but a winner in my life.

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