The Lucky Winner is . . .

Mega MillionsYesterday’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.

Rev. Joanna M. Adams


One Response »

  1. Jill says:

    I had to work many a Christmas when I was a flight attendant. The whole crew would feel pretty homesick and we seldom had many passengers on the 25th. The few that we did have were often children flying alone. Most were being shuttled about to spend time with divorced parents. These kids were often quite young. The little girls wore red velveteen dresses and black patent shoes and the boys wore little glen plaid pants with red vests and green bow ties Each would bring a toy or two on board with them, but their little faces were usually dazed and confused. It always made us feel even worse. Then one foggy Christmas eve, the flight I was working was already boarded but delayed at the gate. We had four “unaccompanied minors”, a young Marine, and one of our commuting pilots that was trying to get home for the holidays. My colleagues and I decided to stop pouting and make it the best Christmas airplane ride these kids had ever had. We had no one in first class, so we “upgraded” everyone. A little boy took drink orders for us and we taught him how to make Shirley Temples. We dumped all the packs of pretzels and peanuts into an airsick bags. Each child got one and they shared them with the soldier and pilot. As the delay kept getting extended, our own pilots took turns coming out of the cockpit to visit. The children were thrilled as they each got to put on a pilot’s hat and visit the cockpit with all its bells and whistles. The gate agent came in and a kid promptly offered him a Swiss Miss hot cocoa. A “wing walker” on the tarmac saw us hoopin’ and hollerin’ and came in with a bag of candy canes, which garnished the cocoa very nicely. The young Marine played a watered down game of poker with one of the little boys, who always said “bingo” when he got a good card. We got the in-flight service kit out and one of the kids gave us “Grinch vaccine” with a swizzle stick, complete with a nice bandaid. We finally got cleared from ATC to leave. It was night time and the commuting pilot told the kids to keep an eye out for Santa and for Rudolph’s blinking red nose, which was indeed spotted several times. Once we leveled off, we gave everyone, even the baby dolls and teddy bears, pillows and blankets. I got on the PA and said , “God bless us every one” to which one kid said, “Yabba-dabba-do!!” It was the best working Christmas I have ever had.

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