Saturday, June 03, 2006

Lottery Tickets and Cadillacs

Sounds like the title of a country song doesn't it? Sad to say, it's not. On the way home from church not too long ago we stopped to pick up a loaf of bread. I waited in the car while Rebecca ran into the bakery. As I was waiting I noticed that the lady in the car next to me had a stack of scratch-and-win lottery tickets that she was working her way through. I looked a little closer and realized that she was wearing a fur coat and the car she was driving a passenger in was a Cadillac STS. I couldn't help but think, here's this woman who would appear to have it all but she still wanted more. The fur coat, Cadillac, and I'm guessing big house in the rich part of town weren't satisfying her soul so she was looking for something else to try to fill the void.

Maybe she wanted more or maybe she was just hoping to win the jackpot to pay for everything. I don't know. But I do know that no matter how big the cash prize, it will never make her happy. Just ask the rich young ruler...

"As he was starting out on a trip, a man came running up to Jesus, knelt down, and asked, "Good Teacher, what should I do t get eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked. "Only God is truly good. But as for your question, you know the commandments: `Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. Do not cheat. Honor your father and mother.'"

"Teacher," the man replied, "I've obeyed all these commandments since I was a child."

Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him. "You lack only one thing," he told him. "Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this, the man's face fell, and he went sadly away because he had many possessions. (Mark 10:17-22)

I catch myself wanting "more" all the time, although not as often as in the past. The problem is (if I dare quote a U2 song) too much is never enough. It seems to me there is a direct correlation between having/wanting lots of things and the size of the hole inside. How many older folks say, "we didn't have much when I was a kid but we were happy." Sure, it has become a cliche, but it definitely rings true. All of our stuff can never satisfy our longing to love and be loved, to be known by others, and ultimately, to be in relationship with God.

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