An acquaintance looked at me with disbelief when I told him recently I was one of the biggest winners ever in the Tennessee Lottery. He had this “I-can’t-wait-to-tell-this-to-somebody” look on his face. I quickly explained to him I had never bought a Tennessee Lottery ticket so I was, in effect, one of the biggest winners.
My good friend has had a very different experience with the lottery. (S)he has scratched hundreds and hundreds of tickets looking for a winner. In fact, his car is covered with scratch dust from lottery tickets. He has played every combination of numbers imaginable looking for a big payday.
Sometimes when he is driving down the road he will look at the license plate on the car in front of him and the numbers will leap off the plate and into his mind. “7-9-1, 7-9-1, I have to play 7-9-1!” Sometimes hearing a telephone number triggers a run to the store. Other times he hears the scores reported Sports Center and has to jump in the car and run to buy tickets based on number from the Steelers versus Chiefs game.
Perhaps most disturbing is what happens when scripture is read at church. Can you guess what happens when my friend hears someone say, “Today I will be reading from Colossians 1:28.”? He has been known to leave church, right in the middle of “worship” and go to a store to buy lottery tickets.
The more I think about it, the more I really do feel like one of the biggest winners ever in the Tennessee Lottery. I don’t mean to have a holier-than-thou attitude. God knows in my heart I am fighting the works of the flesh just like everybody else. But I am really glad that I do not struggle with the compulsion of my friend. And I really hope that one day, he will overcome.