Monday, June 08, 2009

When the Lord, not luck, guides the Powerball

When Neal Wanless of Mission, South Dakota, won $232 million in the Power Ball lottery, one of the first things he did was exude, “Thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity and blessing me with this great fortune."

Those who believe in sin call this particular one "taking the Lord’s name in vain."

Young Wanless might look to the Good Book for financial and religious guidance before doling out thanks to the Lord.

"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" writes Mark.

Of course, logic suggests that Wanless’ gratitude should have gone to all those folks whose wallets were made thinner by his good fortune.

According to USA Today, the 23-year-old rancher vowed to use his wealth to help others. I suggest the "others" be the thousands who contributed to his fortune in the first place.

They, and Wanless, were, of course, duped by the state, the politicians and the odious lottery industry. The publicity surrounding the likes of Wanless only feeds the flames of ill-gotten gain.

For every Wanless story there ought to be dozens about gambling addiction and dozens more about the legions of lottery losers. And then there are legendary winners whose riches turn them into soulless losers.

But the news doesn't work that way. In the media, the fresh young face of the “Praise the Lord” cowboy will always crowd out the day-in-day-out plight of the faceless losing multitude, most of whom can ill afford to throw their money away on a remote dream.

The story of Wanless' fortune is not about the fulfilment of their dream; it is the story of the long-shot exception that proves the dream's remoteness.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why could you not have just wished this young man well? He is taking care of his family and his responsibility to their heritage. I think that the Lord might look down on that and say that he is doing a good thing. At least he is not looking for a hand out or blaming others for his/their misfortune. Now they can set about and make their lives better.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a pity that you need to be negative about someone else’s good fortune. You assume everyone who plays the lottery is addicted to gambling.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Rick Seifert said...

I don't mention gambling addiction anywhere in my post. Come to think of it, that may have been an oversight.

Because Wanless thanked the Lord, I thought it would be helpful to see what the Bible has to say about seeking riches — and what we should do when we obtain them.

It will be interesting to see just how "good" Wanless's fortune is to him.

9:04 PM  

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