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
His infinite wisdom, God knows perfectly well what He’s doing
May 19, 2012
from this page
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
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
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.
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
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.