There was another one of those lottery stories in the news this week. One hundred workers in a Wisconsin cheese factory claimed a $208 million payoff after pooling their money and purchasing tickets for several years. Taking a lump sum payout, each ticket holder will receive, after taxes are collected, close to $700,000. These kind of human interest pieces invariably ask the winners how they plan to spend their new wealth. Predictably, in several years, we hear the 'rest of the story' stories in which many of these instant millionaires find themselves broke and broken. The cash they thought would make their dreams come true transformed their previously anonymous existences into nightmares.
There was an envelope in my mailbox this afternoon. It was from Cindy, a friend from high school in Nebraska. Her picture is in the scrapbook my mom put together years ago. At graduation, we marched in with a member of the opposite gender and since our names were close alphabetically, we were linked. Dad snapped the photo and it sits under crinkled, yellowing plastic. Cindy married Scott, one of my basketball teammates from eighth grade through our senior year. In early August, I restored one of our high school basketball games to DVD and mailed copies to my seven senior teammates. Along with a very nice note from Cindy, there was a $10 bill enclosed in the envelope. Cindy has been very successful in the business world and from her finanacial savvy, knew I would not cash a check and craftily, sent cash. So a ten spot with the serial number DF59741672A is staring at me from my desk. I learned from those lottery winners that wealth is fleeting without a plan. I've gleaned from the Scriptures that God expects me to use whatever he gives me wisely. With such unexpected wealth thrust onto me today, I have decided to turn the fate of my fortune over to you. I am asking you, my reading audience, to determine how these ten dollars will be circulated into the cash flow of our economy. The entry with the best suggestion for the use of these funds will receive an autographed copy of my should-be best seller, What Then Is This Child Going To Be? Lessons From The Classroom. Here are the contest requirements:
1. Entries must be left as A. a comment below or B. as an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Relatives are eligible but remember, you probably already have a copy of the book.
3. If the winner resides outside of Houston, I will also graciously cover shipping costs.
4. Suggestions must be entered by the time I post my next devotional on Sunday night.
5. I may let my very brilliant students assist in the judging.
6. I tend to be dull so be creative!
Jesus told a parable in which a man who used ten talents wisely was rewarded with much more. No pressure, but you could turn my life around! Thank you in advance!
Applicable quote of the day:
"It is commonly observed that a sudden wealth, like a prize drawn in a lottery or a large bequest to a poor family, does not permanently enrich. They have served no apprenticeship to wealth and with the rapid wealth comes rapid claims which they do not know how to deny, and the treasure is quickly dissipated."
Ralph Waldo Emerson