Thursday, January 11, 2007
If I had a $1,000,000, I'd buy you love
That line is from a song by the Barenaked Ladies (they are neither naked or ladies -- they don't even look like ladies) called "If I Had $1,000,000".
This evening, as we rode home on the bus, I glanced over at the billboard and noticed that the Powerball Lottery was now at $151,000,000. Every time I see the sign, especially with that high a dollar figure, thoughts start to swirl in my head.
My first thought is that I realize that without a miracle, I would never win, even discounting the incredible odds, I rarely buy a ticket. I don't consider it gambling, more like voluntary taxes.
So, at $151 million, as a single winner, you would probably take home just less than half of that if you took the one time distribution, after taxes.
So what would you do with that? I was talking to a fellow on the bus about that. He told me he would buy a bunch of land and build a house. While the house was being built, he'd go on a cruise. When he got home, he'd set his friends up as employees and pay them lavishly. He would also set up trust funds for his kids who would receive that money after completing various important life events like years of college or anniversaries.
Myself? I could see taking a enough to feel secure, paying off the house and living debt free, helping out family members, etc. That would leave a whole lot of money laying around that could be put to good use helping people who need it (as opposed to people who think they need it).
So why haven't I won? Honestly, I suspect that God doesn't want me to. Not because it is a punishment but because it doesn't teach me character. At least, I hope that is the reason because the alternative (and if I were totally honest maybe the reality) is that my heart really isn't that charitable.
I do not believe that God cares if we are rich or poor but cares more about our hearts. This closely parallels the message this last weekend (Jan 7) at church. The question that was posed to us was: "Do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you"!