Yesterday’s front page headline shouts out the good news: “Georgia Woman Claims $324M.” The largest winner in Georgia lottery history is a grandmother from Stone Mountain who works in Buckhead and bought her winning ticket at the newsstand in her office building.
No doubt, she, her family and friends are thrilled, delighted, stunned, and ecstatic. Who wouldn’t be? Just think of the benefits that would come from becoming suddenly, stupendously rich. No need to shop for bargains, walk around with run-down heels, or save for a rainy day.
That said, I think there are a lot of benefits that accrue from not winning the lottery. Let me list just a few that come immediately to mind:
- You can walk out your front door without being swarmed by reporters and photographers.
- You do not have to worry about people fawning over you because they want some of your money.
- You can keep on going to work and doing the things that bring meaning and fulfillment to your life. I know that millions of people are unhappy in their work and that many others long for good work to do, but that does not take away from the reality that it is deeply satisfying to do what we are good at and thereby make a contribution to the world.
- You will not have to get up early and appear on Good Morning America.
- You will not become so filled up with what you have that there is no room inside yourself for all the things money can’t buy.
Christians around the world will gather in a few days to hear again the story of the birth of Jesus, who spent his first night on earth lying on the hay in an animal feeding trough because there was no room for him and for Mary and Joseph anywhere other than a stable. The lowly shepherds were working the night shift when they heard the Heavenly Host shout out the stupendous news of “peace on earth and good will among people.”
Good will among people, hope for the world, and joy in the human heart – you can’t buy any of it. They are gifts, no ticket needed.