Almost everybody was doing it the day we walked into the corner Roadrunner Market. In fact, the air had kind of a frenzy feel. People weren’t lined out the door or anything, but you could tell — it was on everybody’s mind and hopes were high. The lotto with it’s promised billion dollar prize was the talk of beer joints, gas stations and local grocery stores everywhere … for days. On a lark, we decided to give it a whirl. I was determined not to spend more than two dollars. It was because of some money I lost on the Kentucky lottery years ago. I decided then that I would sink no more of my hard-earned cash into that bottomless money pit.
My husband had other ideas, though. He got all caught up in the frenzy. Well, actually there were only a couple more customers in the store at the time, but they looked frenzied. We were pretty much creating our own hubbub as he handed the money across the counter. With that, we were the proud owners of 5 lotto tickets. (it was only supposed to be one $2 ticket, but … well…)
Those lovely pieces of colored paper dangled their shiny baubles in front of us, taunting us – visions of big ticket items danced in our heads on the way home. I thought of all the new computer stuff I could buy and the scholarships I could establish at our local university, and made plans to open up my own animal rescue. My husband could just see that shiny, new, metallic blue Chevy truck sitting in the driveway.
We made our way back to the doublewide and put the tickets up. The drawing was scheduled for 11 that night and we promptly fell asleep way before that watching tv. I think it was a hunting or fishing show. We’re real party animals on lotto night!
Next morning, I woke up to find out we were not the new billionaires in the neighborhood. I don’t think there are any billionaires down this way, but you never know. I really would have done some good with that money. I wished the winners well and hoped they would help feed and clothe the homeless in their communities.
Then I got to thinking (Tennessee way of saying: “I then pondered all of this”). I realized that I can give and help someone else even if I’m not holding a winning ticket. I can use the resources that are already in my hand. It doesn’t even have to be as grand as building a new housing complex for the less fortunate (even though that’s great if you can do that). Something as small as paying for the guy’s coffee sitting behind me in the Dunkin car line counts too. That may not seem like much, but it’s a big deal to the person you’re blessing. Giving comes from the heart — we are never more like God than when we’re giving. He is the ultimate, abundant giver. If you’re a giver, then you’ll practice that no matter how much you have or don’t have. (how many times can I insert the word “giver” in one paragraph?! I making a point here.)
I don’t normally make new year’s resolutions, mostly because I never keep them. But this year, when the calendar flipped over to January 1, 2016 I felt compelled to make a few resolutions. One being — I want to be an even bigger giver than last year (I don’t mean gaining weight from eating more donuts and fried potatoes). My aim this year is to be even more extravagant in my giving. I love it. Being generous surely makes me feel good, but it’s much more than that. I know that I’m helping somebody else, whether it’s a friend who needs cheering up or a complete stranger standing on the corner holding a cardboard sign. I’m also participating in God’s plan for this world when I’m being like Him.
If you want to know the meaning of life — that’s it. To be like Jesus in loving and caring for others and be a willing participant in His plan for all of us.