So, you and I did not win the $640 million jackpot.  To be honest, I didn’t even buy a ticket.  But, the intense passion surrounding this lottery, which created that behemoth jackpot, stirred a question for me.

Why do people who know that they have virtually no chance to win spend their hard-earned money for a ticket (or a whole bunch of tickets)?

I disagree with those who attribute the reason to a desperate desire to experience the good life by people who can imagine no other way to achieve that goal.

I think it is about hope.

As humans, we are wired for hope.  God created us with a great capacity to hope, to believe, to strive, so that we may live abundant lives and achieve His purposes in the world.  Hope for a better day and a better world sends us back to the Lord when our own schemes and ambitions leave us empty and disappointed.

Our culture has hijacked this gift of hope, suggesting that we are fools if we hope for anything as awesome as a world of happy children, healthy families and supportive communities.  We are encouraged to hope for mansions, luxury cars and exotic vacations. We waste the beauty of hope on get-rich-quick schemes.  And, we open ourselves up to anger and bitterness, because the odds against realizing these worldly hopes are so large.

You and I can live with hope.  Hope for things that really matter.  We can harness our God-given hope and gifts to make a difference – to one person, one family, one neighborhood, one community.  And, we don’t even have to buy a ticket.