Being raised a “cheap” Mennonite, I was taught early and often not to gamble. My dad: “Not only is it a sin but it is a waste of money”. How many times do I get in a line behind people who look like they are on their last dollar only to see them use their few dollars to buy lottery tickets? Such a waste of money. If they would use that little bit to buy healthy food, they would be so much better off. Don’t they know that the odds are millions to one? It’s very sad to watch.
When the economy gets worse, lottery sales go up. Why? Because people lose hope of ever getting out of their poverty. Their only “hope” is to win big. Again, I always saw this as sad logic. Everyone can dig out if they work harder.
This is what I thought until I got hit with economic tsunamis in my 50’s. I am too old to start over. I don’t have the drive and energy that I had when I was in my 20’s. How can I recover? How can I dig out? For the first time in my life I began looking at the lottery tickets and thinking, “maybe”. God could give me the winning number. I only need to buy one ticket. If God wants me to win, I will win. Think of it! I could pay off all my debts, clean up my business and set up a foundation to support missions! Win Win! I started planning my foundation already!
Is that what God wants? A winning lottery ticket? Or does He want a devoted heart that seeks Him no matter what? Am I more concerned about my economic tsunami than I am about my walk with God? Where does our wealth come from? Where does our hope come from?
1 Chronicles 29: Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 15 We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.16 Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.