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Monday, March 31, 2014

Principle 3: The Pot of Gold

All over the world people are hoping to hit the big winnings of the lottery or some contest.  They faithfully march to the local establishments selling the tickets in order to make their "weekly investment" into the "big ticket".  Some play the same numbers week after week, determined it will be THEIR week this week.  Forbes magazine published an article November 28, 2012 entitled "Why Winning Powerball Won't Make You Happy" written by Susan Adams.  In the article, she cites multiple studies which point out the IMMEDIATE high or exuberance of winning, but the quick return to a low point within just a short point in time.  Why?  She concluded that "while winning the lottery can make a difference, it won't affect the other conditions of your life".  This is so true! We can "bet" on the windfall, or we can count on the certainty of what God provides.  The choice seems pretty simple to me, but obviously there are a whole lot of others who actually don't believe this!

Don’t gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hocking your house against a lucky chance.  The time will come when you have to pay up; you’ll be left with nothing but the shirt on your back.  (Proverbs 22:26-27 MSG)

Our third principle for ensuring our foundation is based on trust in God deals with where it is we determine our "windfall" or "riches" to rest.  It isn't in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or by amassing gambling debt up the kazoo.  The "lucky chance" many take will do little more than make them broke in the end.  We have all heard the stories of gamblers "gone bad" - losing it all - home, job, family, and self-esteem.  To me, it seems like pretty risky business to me.

My mother is from Scottish/English heritage, so one of her familiar sayings when something isn't quite right with me is, "My poor wee lassie".  My response to mom each and every time she says this to me:  "I no so poor". Yep, the grammar is wrong, I know, but you get the point.  I am not poor in any respect - in fact, I am as rich as I can be, blessed beyond measure in Christ Jesus - even when things may not be "quite right" in my life.  A lot of us determine our disposition in life based on the circumstances we are dealt. I think Solomon may have been trying to get us to look at the one who carries us through those circumstances, not at the circumstances themselves!

Where it is we look for our "worth" in life gives evidence of what it is we have come to value the most.  For example, if we look at wealth to give us a sense of "worth" in life, we will always be chasing an elusive dream, for today's "wealth" will not keep up with tomorrow's demands.  If we look at "image" to give us a sense of worth in life, we will also be chasing a pretty unmanageable dream, for our "image" will fade in time, no matter how much plastic surgery we have done!

God's direction to us is to look to him to give us our sense of worth - for this is truthfully the only thing which "imputes" value into our lives.  We could hold out for the windfall at the end of the rainbow such as winning big in the lottery, but honestly, I would rather have my value determined today, not some day down the road when I "hit it big".  In fact, I don't think there is anything "bigger" to "hit" than being redeemed by the grace of God from a life bound to live without him for all of eternity!

Keeping our focus on the "what if" of tomorrow will not benefit us any today. In fact, it serves to do nothing more than make us yearn for what we don't have and what we will be unlikely to ever achieve.  Rather than focus on the "what if" of tomorrow, we would be well served to focus on the "what is" of today.  We have been granted so much in Christ Jesus - it will take us a lifetime to actually realize the significance of our "windfall" we have in HIM! Just sayin!