“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.”
The Mega Millions was up to some grotesque amount of money this past week…like, $550 million or something. After doing my habitual morning Facebook news feed scan, I immediately called out to my husband, “The winner was in Atlanta!” I began slowly reading each winning number aloud to him in anticipation while he concentrated on the printed slips of paper in his hands. I enunciated each syllable as if my life depended on it. But alas, no bueno. Can’t help feeling like we have a winning ticket somewhere hidden though. After all, I woke up this morning with a strange feeling like, “What if we actually did win? What would I literally do first??”
I’m not a lottery player but I grew up in a household where my father unabashedly spent quite a few coins every week on the Florida Lotto. (Seriously, there are a couple kids out there who could’ve been awarded nice scholarships based on what he spent on wealth-wishing.) Before the weekly drawings, my family would sit around and chatter about what we would do as one of the newly rich. We did the what-if-we-won conversations more than a few times. It always gave us an emotional adrenaline boost…quite characteristic of a child on Christmas morning. But as always, soon after, we’d each mentally drag ourselves from lotto dreamland and crawl back into the reality of the 99%. I used to get slightly ticked afterward because those what-if conversations played with my emotions and money didn’t just plop into our laps. On the other hand, I was also taught that rewards in life mean so much more when you put in work and actually earn it.
This all has me thinking…I may never win the lottery but who says that I can’t live up to my potential?? What would happen if I broke up with my fears? What would I accomplish? I mean, I get just as excited about life when I think about fulfilling my dreams as I do when daydreaming about bringing home the Mega Millions prize pot. Hmmm…REALLY living up to my potential…wouldn’t that kinda feel like I won the lottery? (well, maybe not completely but you catch my drift)
“But, Jolye, living a bold life will bring criticism, speculation and disapproval though…” Hey, hey…calm down. It costs to be the boss and there are going to be some casualties of war. Some relationships will disappear. Some people will be disappointed. Others won’t like my photographic style. The rest will think I’m just weird. I will make mistakes and rub people the wrong way. They may even secretly wish I’d “sit quietly and be good.” But what if I experience true joy by living in and for my purpose? Hey, it’s worth a shot, no?? Besides, the bigger crime would be for me to continue living tentatively.
Like I said, I’m not a gambling woman but I’m willing to bet the success odds of living up to my potential are far better than the Mega Millions any day. Maybe that hidden winning lottery ticket is doing what God put you here on Earth to do- unapologetically. Perhaps, this whole life thing isn’t so much about living with no fear but fear…less.
Here’s to 2014!
When I saw the news today and they named Atlanta as one of the winning cities, I was hoping you two were the recipients 😉 You never have to gamble when you are using your God-given gifts!!
Let the church say, “Amen!”
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