My blogging buddy, Jimmy, over at The Domain for Truth recently posted about the lottery (see here), which inspired this post and true story.
Millions play the lotto every day or occasionally, hoping they will win a fortune and live a life thereafter of financial security and comfort. A favorite pastime of these lottery players is wistfully imagining and discussing the intricate details of what they would do if they won a big lotto jackpot: pay off debts, quit working, travel, purchase a new house and car, give financial gifts to family and friends, etc. I have an old memory of a lottery player that I’ve shared many times before, but never on this blog.
In my early years at the Eastman Kodak Elmgrove Plant, back in the late-1970s, I worked in the Bldg. 2 warehouse with a guy named Dan, an older gentleman, probably in his late-50s or early-60s at the time. While Danny wasn’t gregarious, he was easy-going and friendly. But I could see it was getting tougher and tougher for aging Danny to get on and off his forklift truck (nope, that’s not an actual photo of Danny above).
One Thursday morning, Danny came into work in a very foul mood, which was quite unlike him. “What’s the matter?,” I asked. Danny was so angry he could barely spit out the words. He related that he had stayed up late to watch the Wednesday evening lotto drawing on TV as was his usual habit. Danny and his wife religiously bought lotto tickets every single week using the same set of numbers over and over. That evening, as the numbered ping-pong balls began to drop one-by-one, Danny was getting excited. His first number came up, then the second, then the third, then the fourth, then the fifth. Danny could hardly believe it when the TV host announced the sixth and final number that matched his last number. Danny was ecstatic! He had anticipated retiring in a few years, but winning the lottery meant bye-bye to Kodak immediately. Danny ran into the bedroom and woke up his slumbering wife. “We won the lotto! We won the lotto!,” he shouted. As his wife awoke and began to comprehend what all of the commotion was about, a sobering reality overtook her. “I..I..I forgot to buy the lottery ticket this week,” she blurted out. Easy-going Danny dropped from the highest-high to the lowest-low in two seconds. He didn’t repeat what he had said to his wife, but I could imagine. From his countenance, it didn’t appear Danny got a wink of sleep that night.
Lotto players dream of being multi-millionaires, but winning could bring on a host of other problems. What the lottery agencies don’t tell you is that 70-80 percent of big-jackpot winners declare bankruptcy within five years.
Our earthly temporal circumstances are not set in stone. Our finances, our health, our mortality are all fleeting at best with a limited shelf life. What about your eternal soul? It’s been 45-years since Danny’s unhappy evening and I don’t imagine he’s with us any longer, but he is somewhere, either in Heaven or Hell. The Bible says that we are all sinners and that we all deserve eternal punishment, but God loves us so much, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the debt for our sins on the cross. Jesus rose from the dead, beating sin and death, and offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who accept Him as Savior by faith alone. A lotto jackpot is chump change compared to eternal life in Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” – John 3:16-18
Got Questions: What is the Sinner’s Prayer?