Spiritual Director · January 11, 2016

I took a chance

I had heard enough. I took a chance, I went for it. By the time Saturday night rolled around I had heard so, so much on TV and the news about Powerball and the chance to win some or all of 900 million dollars. So I bought a ticket. There, I’ve confessed. There was no winner last week as everybody knows and now over a billion dollars is up for grabs. And by the time some of you read this there will likely be a winner from this past Wednesday.

I mean, honestly, wouldn’t we all like to be rich? Just think what it would be like to buy a big home, pay off debt, drive a super car, quit your job, etc., etc.! The TV stations were routinely interviewing people standing in the store lines and would ask them what they would do with all that money. I heard many things from various folks, and I was thankful to one woman who said she would give a lot of her winnings away. That’s honestly what I thought going over to the gas station. If I win I will give most of it away! I thought of all the world charities who could so greatly benefit from that money. I often wonder what is wrong with our culture with so much poverty and need right here at home and yet we give away hundreds of millions of dollars.

I do know the rather tragic stories of people who have won a lottery. Many go on to bankruptcy, divorce and many other problems. But I may never know. I suppose the question is about what makes a person rich. Money, and the “things” of this world will all pass away including us. As the old saying goes “you can’t take it with you.” So we remember again that we are rich….rich in the spiritual life given to us by God! Rich in our Via de Cristo ministry and rich in the experience we had when we made our weekend! Palanca is better than money!!

If you were to do a topical search on the Bible you would find that money is the number one topic talked about by Jesus. There are many verses within the Bible about wealth and money and where our hearts might be. One I like is “Keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you have, for God has promised to never leave us!” Now that is a richness we can count on. Just think, you don’t have to buy tickets and wait to see if your name or number gets called! God has already given you the trillion dollar lottery in the gift of eternal life through Jesus….we really are rich!! The “things” of this world do not make us rich. Money does not, really (I mean look at the superstars who commit suicide, divorce routinely or go to drug rehab). We are all so desperately searching for something else to make us happy, to fulfill our lives and we think money will do it.

Nope. Count your blessings. Turn around and look at your life, those who are in your life, and all that you have. And be content.

Pastor Doug Givan, MDiv

Board Certified Staff Chaplain

St. Vincent Hospital Clay

St. Vincent Seton Specialty


dgivan@stvincent.org (email)


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Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.