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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Bill Seebeck won $166 million dollars in a $4 slot at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa on Sunday but he’s none the richer. The would-be millionaire pulled the level and bells started ringing and the figure $166,666,666.65 appeared on the jackpot screen. Yreka!  

It was not to be. According to officials at the casino the slot machine malfunctioned and accordingly they say they are under no obligation to pay the prize, saying that the maximum win on this machine is an unimpressive $90,000. They attempted to get Seebeck to sign a release denying any right to recover any award. He refused.

So, prize or no prize?

Is there a moral in this tale of dashed ecstasy? Allow me to put a spiritual spin on it and flip it in exactly the opposite direction. This month we’re posting Thanksgiving prayers. In Psalm 103 David, the singer-king writes a song of praise and thanks to God. He tells himself to “not forget God’s benefits.” We’re prone to that, to neglecting to appropriate the treasures that are really ours. Seebeck’s problem is that the thought he had a treasure that wasn’t really his; our problem is that we forget we have a treasure that is actually ours!

Thanksgiving is about pausing for an audit of our life, assessing the treasures that God has already given us, then voicing our thanks for those gifts. Once we’re thankful, we’re free to partake. We pray; we eat! That’s how it works on Thanksgiving; that should be how it works everyday!

I want to forget about running after make-believe jackpots; I’ll cash the checks of true wealth already sitting in my hand, signed, sealed and delivered by God!

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