Jack Murphy

Jack Murphy of Maine is a winter resident of Frostproof, Fla., and compiler of the “Styles of Smiles” column that runs monthly in the News Chief newspaper in Winter Haven. At this posting he is back at his summertime home in Maine and can be reached by e-mail at jackmurphy27@gmail.com.

 

In His infinite wisdom, God knows perfectly well what He’s doing

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Continued from this page

By JACK MURPHY

I closed my eyes and concentrated as hard as I could. Then I saw it. The numbers were clearly there: 12:52. No round numbers this time — 12:52 right to the minute. I turned over quickly and saw that the clock said ...1:05!

I was deflated.

Then, I looked at the ceiling and said, “OK, God, I get the message: Lesson No. 1 — Humility.

Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor? He set me up perfectly for a joke in a classic style. I really had a good laugh over it.

God knew what He was doing. He knew that the first place I would head for would be for the line at the lottery ticket machine. How many times had I bought lottery tickets with my secret “bargaining” in mind? Why, of course I would do the right thing. No question. The first check I would write out would be for the church. Tithing. Ten percent off the top, naturally. After all, it would only be fair, wouldn’t it? Wrong.

I am absolutely certain that, even if I had taken an oath in blood, even If I had pledged to take the tithing amount and give the 90 percent to the church, it wouldn’t have worked.

It was about at this point that I began to grasp Lesson No. 2.

Like most other humans, I have been dazzled with things. If I only had $20 million, look at all the good I could do. Feed the hungry. House the homeless. Pay for medical treatment for the poor. Surprise a panhandler with a $100 bill. Make thousands of people happy. Set such a good example of generosity for others to follow. Be a hero. With other people’s money.

How could God be making such a choice? He was telling me that what He wanted was for me to share what I already have — money, time, caring — with the handful of people around me.

Serving a small group with what one already has is far more important to Him than seeing a person become a philanthropist and help thousands of people with money that really isn’t his to give in the first place.

The interesting thing is that in demonstrating the kind of balance God has in His thinking, tipping the scale this way to serve the few instead of the many, He is showing how more important we individuals are to His plan.

If God wanted to redistribute the world’s wealth, He could do it easily by giving lottery tickets, grants, inheritances, horse race choices, inspired stock market purchases, hog futures and all sorts of financial gains to all the “right” people.

What He wants is simplicity itself. Quality, not quantity, is Lesson No. 2.

 

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