light a fire in the cold

picture found here.
Every morning, on my way to work, I pass several billboards proclaiming the millions of dollars one can win by buying a $1 lottery ticket. I struggle with whether or not it is okay for me to want to play to lottery and to want to win just a fraction of the millions available.

I wouldn't spend the money on frivolous things like DVDs or clothes or shoes. I wouldn't even spend all the money on myself. But still, I'm not sure if it's okay for me to want things like money. Money won't fix all the problems of the world. But I know it would help.

If I had the money, I would fix our house and then sell our house. We'd purchase a much bigger house - one that could house children in foster care and children we'd adopt from Ethiopia and China. The house could house people who needed a little help getting back on their feet. We could even purchase a second house meant just for individuals needing assistance to get them out of a desparate situation or off the streets.

I would send money to Africa and help build orphanages for the 53 million orphaned children. I would go to Africa as well and experience life there so I would know what help the country really needed - not just the ideas I hear on the radio. I'd give money away to those who needed it. I'd start as many non-profits as I could to reach as many people as I could. I'd fulfill some of my lifelong dreams which include opening a group home for girls and helping others recover from things like anorexia and bullimia. I'd take the money and spend it on hope amd love.

I would hold onto just enough to meet our own needs and then the rest would be given to others. That's what I long to do, what my heart is striving for. But I do wonder if my heart would be able to remain that pure if $200,000 or $20,000,000 were to be deposited into my bank accounty.

Money won't fix everything, and sometimes, money causes more problems than it fixes. But I like to dream about the things we could do, the people we could help, the lives we could change with extra dollars floating in our checking account.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? Months ago (and especially years ago), I would have bought a new wardrobe and a new car and lots of gadgets. I do still struggle with wanting some of those things. I think I always will. But I wouldn't be able to spend it all on those sorts of things - not with the knowledge of just how far thousands and millions could go.

I don't think it's wrong to own things. We own more than we need to. I also don't think it's wrong to spend money on things for yourself. I am just at a point where all of those things, which were once so important to me, hold no value.

I am especially struck with this now that Christmas is near and Black Friday is looming. I looked through the ad for Target and saw nothing that excited me. I've seen the sales many stores are offering, and while I wanted as much as I could get last year, I want nothing now - at least not anything that the stores are selling.

I guess you could say my priorities have changed. It's funny how that happens, how God knocks sense into you about what is important even when you spend years ignoring His words about the things of this world are nothing compared to the things of Him.

(title from "hope" by alli rogers)

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