By Brandon C. Williams
Editor, The Post Newspaper
Lottery fever has infected the nation. Rightfully so, for (as of this writing), the jackpot is an estimated $1.02 billion with an estimated $675 million once Uncle Sam gets his hands upon said winnings.
Naturally, this is life-changing money for whoever is blessed to win. As Friday came and went, many of us (myself included) conjured thoughts of whimsical grandeur about how we’d spend this newfound wealth. Thoughts of getting out of debt, spacious living quarters and exotic travel locales fill our heads as the 9:59pm announcement of those six numbers hit the airwaves.
Life will remain the same for all but whoever defies the odds. However, we should all embrace the fact that lottery or not, spiritual wealth is always available. It doesn’t require guessing numbers or pooling together with coworkers. Nope, spiritual wealth is a sign we have already hit a lottery much larger than the Mega Millions jackpot could accumulate.
Deuteronomy 8:18 reads But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth. In secular terms, “wealth” is defined by material pleasures, and while there is nothing wrong with the having a fully-loaded Texas F-150, a closet stacked with clothes and shoes and the ability to take a vacation on a whim, God’s definition stretches well beyond that depreciates in value the second we turn the ignition, lace up that pair of shoes or touchdown at the destination of choice.
No…God’s definition of wealth is right here within us.
Look around you. What a beautiful sight this is. Wealth is being here reading this column. Wealth is being able to feel loved by close family and friends. Wealth comes from the simple breeze as the sun goes down or the joy that comes from your pet running to you as you enter the door from a long day of work (which is a blessing as well).
We are wealthy in love and in spirit and in life. Look around again and see the abundance each of us brings here on a daily basis. Every one of us increases the value of the world around us with our mere presence, while others go above and beyond to add more to this infinite account that we are blessed to withdraw every day on this side of life’s journey.
There’s no question we’d consider ourselves blessed if we were to experience a windfall of secular wealth. We’d all love to have our financial concerns erased in one fell swoop. Who wouldn’t want to feel at peace in opening the mailbox and not seeing Citibank or American Express paying us a monthly visit?
We have all heard of “rich today, broke tomorrow” stories of those who squandered away a rare quick strike of financial windfall. Greed, egotism and just plain old stupidity are just three avarices that led many a sudden millionaire to squalor.
Yet, if given a choice between the wealth of the world and the wealth we are breathing in here at this church, I know each of us would remain here. What is all the money in the world without God’s presence? What sense would it make that wealth still didn’t make you feel empty inside?
Someone will eventually win this jackpot, be it Friday or whenever fate chooses (Editor’s Note: Someone in Illinois was the sole winner). We will dip into the sin of admiration for a brief moment, but will move on with our daily challenges and pleasures. There is no win or lose here. If you win the lottery, wonderful (don’t forget about me!). If not, there’s little to feel discouraged about, especially when you know your spiritual wealth account is exceeding abundantly.
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Brandon C. Williams is the Editor of The Post Newspaper