If I Was a Rich Man
“What would you do if you won $1.6 billon?” Thankfully, over the last 3 weeks, that question has successfully muffled some of the political noise.
I have heard the subject discussed on every local news cast, at restaurants, at the grocery store, even in church. I was struck by the lack of enthusiasm and imagination of the answers. I suppose that’s because we know the conversation is hypothetical, especially if you haven’t purchased a ticket. The answers I heard all felt predictable:
“I would quit my job.”
“I would travel.”
“I would pay off my debt.”
“I would volunteer.”
“I would give to my favorite charities.”
Those were on everyone’s list.
Mark 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” At this point you expect me to quote and then unpack a passage like that one, but I won’t. That is a good starting question for you to perform a bit of self-examination. Life is more than stuff. An unknown author has written:
"Money can buy a House-But not a Home
Money can buy a Bed-But not Sleep
Money can buy a Clock-But not Time
Money can buy you Medicine-But not Health
Money can buy you Sex-But not Love
Money isn't everything. It often causes pain and suffering. I tell you all this because I am your Friend, and as your Friend I want to take away your pain. So send me all your money.
And I will suffer for you.”
Even if you have things, lots of things, they are temporary.
Here were my two thoughts. First, when I speak with seniors who have been retired for a couple of years, obviously they have quit working, they have traveled, they have paid off debts, they have volunteered, and they have made charitable contributions (of time and money). Cut me slack here, but they have won the lottery and don’t realize it. They really are, unknowingly perhaps, living the dream.
Secondly, the respondents lacked enthusiasm and imagination, I think, because many of us refuse to wait for “our ship to come in” before we pursue the fulfillment of our deepest desires. By age 40 we have traveled Europe, worked at church or the food bank, or tutored. We have no “bucket list” because we have scratched each item off as fast as we wrote it down. Today, delayed gratification is waiting until the day after Halloween to begin celebrating Christmas.
Here’s a life verse, “PURSUE DELAYED GRATIFICATION.”
Speaking autobiographically, I have almost everything I have ever dreamt of and more because I have things that didn’t exist when I was dreaming of my future.
I asked Sandy what she would do with $1.6 and she said, “not much different.” When you eliminate the outrageous luxurious items, such as buying a jet from your lottery wish list, I am guessing that is how most of us answer the question. We too are living the dream.
Our home is populated with pictures, posters, plaques, cards, bible verses – all that provide us daily reminders of some basic truths. Here is a photo of one of them.
“Talk” again soon.