snowglobeI was driving to a speaking engagement Sunday morning, listening to the radio. Every other story was about how no one had won the US Powerball Lottery which meant the next drawing–on Wednesday–would likely reach $1.3 billion.

I don’t play the lottery for several reasons, but as I listened to news anchors chatter on, I thought, why not buy ONE ticket? If God wants to bless me with a billion dollars, the least I can do is buy a ticket. Right?

Then I began to play that mental game–you know the one–it used to be “What Would You Do with a Million Dollars,” but I guess that’s a billion now.

I imagined being able to take care of my parents and family. No more worries about health care or education. At work that fundraising goal we’ve set? MET. Those long-range plans? Done. My church would be getting that new roof it needs. And those fabulous, historic homes I look at just for fun? We could pick the one we like best.

But then . . . my palms started sweating a little. And I could feel my stomach getting tight. Because you can’t just DO all that stuff. You have to set up accounts, and trusts, and endowments. You have to work through financial advisors you can trust. You have to deal with tax repercussions. Not to mention the, ahem, people who’d like a slice of the pie that just fell in your lap.

And suddenly your worth is tied up in dollar signs and you wonder if people like you because of who you are or what you have. That new book I hope my editor likes–will he accept it just because of this new level of name recognition? Or because it’s good?

And that, I think, was when I decided NOT to buy a ticket. One of life’s great satisfactions is accomplishing difficult things through skill, perseverance, prayer, and . . . help.

There are days when I’m pretty sure I’d let someone wave a magic wand and fix my problems. But in hindsight, I’m mostly glad that God has sent me challenges to shape me, mold me, and hopefully make me just the tiniest bit more Christlike as I walk through this world on my way to eternity.

And in eternity, a billion dollars is nothing more than a cloud of glitter settling inside a snow globe.