Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lottery of Life

Congratulations! You just won the LOTTERY of Life!

You will receive 138,000 blessings today and every day for the rest of your life.

I am serious.

You are alive and breathing.

Every day, your heart beats 115,000 blessings, and your lungs fill with 23,000 precious gifts.

You just had a fender bender? That’s one sad thing in a day filled with blessings. Your blessings still outnumber your disappointments by at least 138,000 to 1!

It is for this reason that I am baffled by the emphasis of some of us Christians who go to church on Sunday in hopes of receiving our “blessing from God.”  We are like Dursley in the Harry Potter franchise, who, while celebrating his birthday, counts the packages in front of him and throws a fit once he realized that he had one less present than the previous year. Doesn’t that seem like a lack of gratitude?

This is a lottery mentality, like those of us who spend our last dollar to buy a ticket in hopes of winning happiness.

Here is the news flash:  if we don’t realize that we have already received the blessings and riches of God, then winning the lottery is not going to fix our problems.  What we need is a heart change, not the change of our physical or financial circumstances.  We have already been blessed with everything we need for this life.

I know this sounds trite and dismissive of those real-life challenges that face all of us.  We do struggle with serious concerns about health-care, education, the safety of our children, life changing physical challenges, violence in our neighborhoods and more.

In 2011, Roko Belic directed a feature documentary called “Happy,” certainly well worth your time to watch.  Roko found that contentment had little to do with the amount of money one has, or with the physical circumstances of one’s surroundings.  Some of the most content people he found were those living in the slums of Kolkata in a tin box, and some of the least content lived in the US and were surrounded by great wealth.  He found that contentment is the result of gratitude for what one has along with the daily presence of supportive friends.

We have already received our blessing from God.  Rather than spending our lives looking for something that we do not need, we need to learn to be grateful for what we already have.

Close your eyes. Breathe in, breath out. Feel your heart beating in your chest.  Reach out and hug the friend, child or spouse sitting next to you.  You are wealthy beyond all belief. Acknowledge the God who loves you so.  You just won the lottery!

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