#FamilyFriday | Powerball & the One Who Rejoices in His Portion


People across the U.S. have been flocking to buy lottery tickets this week, in hopes of winning a chunk of the $1,580,000,000 payout. To put that in perspective, that's more than the gross domestic product of some countries. You could go from scrambling to pay rent to buying your own island in the tropics. Or maybe a few islands. With helicopters. And a cruise ship. With Celine Dion living on board to sing to you.

And then there's the rest of us. It's so easy to see the profit of others and start to become jealous and consumed with self-pity. Why are they so blessed? Why do they get wealth in this world and not us? Why are they successful with so little effort? They're just going to waste it all!

But who are we to enter into judgment over them? And who are we to know if their fortune is a blessing or a curse to them? Perhaps they will worship God for his blessings and give freely to those in need. Or maybe they'll squander their portion, lose everything, and die alone. The events that happen to us in this life are very rarely "good" or "bad" in nature, if we can look at them objectively or else look back at them from years down the road; the good and the bad depend on how we react to them. And so who are we to know if our lack of fortune is a blessing or a curse to us? Could God be training us to be wise stewards? I know that, for us, the horrible burden of school loans and hospital bills not covered by our insurance made us better stewards of our money and so much more grateful for what we have now.

Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion, as it is written [in Psalm 128:2], ‘You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.’
— Ethics of the Fathers

The sages continue, "'You shall be happy' refers to this world; 'it shall go well with you' refers to the world to come." There is not only practical application in the here and now to rejoice in our portion, but whether or not we rejoice will have lasting implications. Why? Because our choice to rejoice is a reflection of our faithfulness to God, and his faithfulness to us. 

Shabbat shalom, friends! May you be blessed with an awareness of how blessed you already are, and the grace to be happy for those who are also blessed.

Mo’ money, mo’ problems.
— The Notorious B.I.G.
Jonathan MitchellComment