no, this is NOT the most recent title of an e-mail from my spam folder. Rather, it is a description of myself thatI am none too proud of.
The scenario: In the supermarket today, and had to go see how the Mega Millions was doing. Stupid, stupid lottery for stupid, stupid people such as myself. (A friend of mine, after hearing me admit that I actually play the lottery, replied with, “Oh, so you pay ‘stupid tax’?” OUCH. the truth hurts.) Well, unfortunately nobody won last night, so it’s up to the ridiculous amount of $150 million . . .
I think I have said here before that God does NOT want me to play the lottery. So basically, I’m blatantly sinning, a dollar at a time every time I choose to buy a ticket. (It’s just a good thing that I’m not still Catholic!)
So there I am in the queue to purchase my tickets (there wouldn’t be a line like this if I was in Cascade . . . since the lottery is as much a “poor person tax” as it is a “stupid tax” . . . ) and I have two dollars in my hand . . . and I start to have this inner dialogue with myself . . . because I usually never allow myself to buy more than one ticket for a drawing, with the reasoning that, “If God really wanted me to win” (WHICH HE DOES NOT!) “He would obviously not need more than one ticket to make this happen.” But for some reason today, I had two dollars in my hand, and as I waited for my turn to
buy my ticket throw away my money, I was having an internal argument with myself . . . “well, you really shouldn’t tempt God like that . . . remember that sermon you heard a long time ago, about how God told Moses to speak to the rock so that it would bring forth water, and he disobeyed by not only using his staff instead of following God’s orders, but more so by striking it twice?”
and then it hit me. I was mis-applying what was no doubt the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit and twisting that conviction in such a way that it satisfied my own sinful desire to do exactly what I wanted to do anyway. Not to mention that God’s no dummy, as I seem to keep forgetting . . .
It’s not that I want to be rich, or so I say . . . it’s that I dream of all that I could do with the money . . . on the “short list”, a seven-days-a-week anti-racism education center in Grand Rapids, and getting myself and a few dozen of my dearest friends “back to zero”, as in, out of debt . . . the rest to be given away . . . “So you see, Lord, I have such WONDERFUL PLANS for this money, for using it for Your Kingdom!”
yes, I really do spend (waste!) hours upon hours tending to and feeding this idol of mine . . .
but what I really want, more than anything else, is to be free. Even if my tangible, earth-bound reality is such that I will never break free of the financial chains that choke me, I want more than anything to be TRULY free . . . like the title of my blog, I want to love HIM better . . . I WANT to want God more than I want anything else, even the so-called “security” of being free of debt in a human sense.
the road to freedom, however, does not begin at the lottery counter at the 28th Street Meijer. It begins in a Book that gets far too little attention from me, and with a Person who, despite my tainted human perception of Him, is far more likely to be saddened by the choices I make than exasperated or even angry about them.