I don’t really follow the lottery, or the news for that matter. When I turned 50, three years ago, I chose selective and intended ignorance on many things, including watching the news and reading the newspaper. It is to the point that my news reading friends have asked, “Do you live in a cave?” lol Don’t get me wrong. I love my news reading friends. I trust them and they are who I rely on to know what I need to know that is newsworthy. Recently several of them informed me that the “Power Ball Lottery” was at an all time high. I think now it is at a billion dollars! WOW…….
In my days of traveling for golf tournaments I would see billboards advertising the amount of the jackpot. I can remember seeing the billboards and taking an hour or two of driving time to think through what I would do if I won the lottery. I thought how, first of all, I would remain anonymous. If you are my age, you know that you know, the majority of people who knew you had won would treat you differently. Most people don’t want to be treated differently because of their bank account.
Second, I would take the lump sum because we do not know when our last day will come. For that reason alone I would take the lump sum.
Third, I would want to tithe at least 20 percent. You can NEVER out GIVE GOD. And it goes on and on from there….all I could do with that much money.
It would be so neat to be a Robin Hood. Not robbing from the rich but having riches and just going around doing good…in SECRET. How cool would that be???
Recently, when my attention was drawn to the huge JACKPOT, I started daydreaming again. And then I had a very close friend, Aimee, remind me how I got to live that dream after the flood recently. An anonymous donor from another state…giving money to the Back 9. I was the one entrusted to give money to people who were devastated and in need. In essence, I played the role of “Robin Hood”.
What a blessing! Until Aimee reminded me of that, I didn’t really think about it. You see, she is not only a very close friend, but a fellow golfing mom with whom I had shared my lottery billboard dream many years ago. She has no idea…what her words have done for me as I have started 2016.
I don’t have to win the lotto…to do good and meet needs. I only have to OBEY God and TRUST HIM. I can give my time, my prayer, my words of encouragement, and, yes, my money. I don’t have to “win the lottery” to do big and significant things. He has demonstrated it over and over again in my life and most recently through the flood.
Often times …we wait …to receive big….before we give. When really we…and I am talking to me…..”majorly” need to be found faithful in the small…in order to be entrusted with the BIG. Jesus taught us this very thing in Luke 16. He said in verse 10, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” If you read and study the parable, He speaks of worldly wealth and true riches and being found TRUSTWORTHY.
A very notable example of this principle is looking at the life of Jeff Scott, the co-offensive coordinator at Clemson. Years ago when our son Thomas, who was 5 at the time, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes Jeff, who was a teenager then, gave Thomas his time, attention and affection..not just for a day…but for years. Today, Jeff invests in the lives of many young men who play college football. He touches many in recruiting and is in much more of an elevated position of influence. The progression I have personally witnessed has been…young children like Thomas to high school coaching and, now, to a major college program. Jeff was faithful in the small and God now has elevated him to be responsible with more.
When I/you/we ELEVATE OUR OWN EYES AND LIVES … to WHAT IS pleasing in God’s sight…we find He will do amazing things…that we can get the joy of experiencing.
I know this….my favorite story in the Bible is the “widow’s mite”…found also in the book of Luke, chapter 21. This is what Jesus said about her gift, “As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in ALL SHE HAD TO LIVE ON'” (verses 1-4).
Make no mistake…God is saying…we are all rich…to give out of what we have…not out of what we may or may not get. WE give based on our love for God…and willingness to TRUST HIM with what He has entrusted to us. Our giving, in God’s eyes, directly relates to our love for Him.
God’s scales are different than the world’s. Today…I encourage you to give …not just your money..give your time..your talent…your love…your encouragement to others…the return has no price tag:)