Very exciting news this morning. I couldn’t wait to spread the word. I just found out that I’m going to be incredibly wealthy! And I didn’t have to do anything at all to win.
I had an email this morning that said “Your Email Address Has Won You 4.6 Million from UK Lotto”. How fun. I’ve never been to Britain but apparently my email address is working a night shift. There is also a Prince in Dubai who wants to marry me so I can have his inheritance and help him flee the country. I wonder if my spouse will mind. And luck of all luck, an unknown cousin in Paris died and left me a million dollars! I had to weed through emails promising to enhance various parts of my anatomy and quite a few random sales ads but there is the proof. I’m headed to easy street.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother was convinced she was going to win the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes and a couple other off brand contests. In between canning home-made grape juice, playing endless card games with us kids and running around after my grandfather, she’d spend time filling out entry forms and moving sparkly stickers form one page to another sure that this time she’d win.
Invariably, on Christmas we’d each get a present that we’d have asked for (Grandma was one who believed in asking and delivering) but we’d also count on opening at least one bizarre present. Each of the girls would get diamonette jewelry with sparkle dust. Each of the guys would get books on healing yourself through herbal remedies. We’d smile. Grandma would laugh and explain she had to buy them to qualify for the next level of the contest.
I believe in hard work and saving and building a future. So did Grandma. Somewhere along the line though all us kids also caught on to the “maybe we’ll win’ bug.
I recognize that statistically its more likely that I’ll contract TB than win the lottery. Oh wait. I already have dormant TB. And I don’t buy lottery tickets. We spent a year doing financial counseling at a homeless shelter. I will never forget the family who had a $400 dollar a month discrepancy in their budget. When pressed, they said, well we do have our bingo money, but that can’t go to bills. Sad.
When we were engaged, my husband and I had to fill out a budget during pre-marital counseling. Since my parents and I had a start up business which paid next to nothing at the time and my husband was a preschool teacher, the income side of the budget was extremely flat compared to the expenses side. Not a good way to start a marriage.
So one day, about two months before the wedding, I was at Bi-Mart. They were giving out free lottery tickets. It was a game where if you won you got $1000 a week for the rest of your life. It was called lucky for life. I was convinced I was going to win. I told my fiance and my parents that God surely had provided and we would be fine. They both looked worried for my mental health.
We didn’t win. I was shocked.
My mother, however, was not shocked. She found a great place for us to housesit and we had the first eight months of our marriage with no rent or house payments. Bought our first house with a borrowed down payment in October of 1999. Dug in and worked like crazy. Paid the borrowed down payment off. Have not bought a lottery ticket since. I think this is probably good considering my clearly irrational thoughts during the lucky to life game.
In reality, I deleted this mornings emails and I’ve moved to an email with a filter. It did make me think though. I’m so very grateful that at Christmas I know the truth. The very best Christmas present was the very first Christmas present given. A baby. A promise. I win. And so can you.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11