In January of 1997 a fire broke out in our home. Burned it to the ground. We lost everything, save the night-clothes we were wearing.
We moved out to a farmhouse some church members provided. It came completely equipped with everything we needed for that temporary time.
Since the house that burned was the parsonage, our church, very generously, reworked my salary package, enabling us to buy or build a home. Pam worked hard with some builders in our church to create the home she wanted.
We lived in the farmhouse for most of 1997, moving into our new home in early to mid-December. Though excited, we were exhausted. Then, . . came Christmas. Seriously, we thought, now?
Remember last month when everybody was all obsessed with the Mega Millions lottery because it was up to an insanely high amount? And then, someone else won and they each got millions and millions of dollars?
I don’t play the lottery. But when the buzz hits like it did last month, with the jackpot ridiculously high, it’s hard not to be caught up in all the excitement, because, “hey, SOMEbody’s gotta win, right?”
(Don’t tell Dave Ramsey I said that.)
And of course, when you think about the lottery, you inevitably drift away into the imaginary “what-if-I-actually-won” world and start spending those millions in your mind.
The famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright used to tell a story about a time when he was 9, where he and his very reserved, no-nonsense uncle were walking across a snow-covered field. When they had both reach the far end of the field, his uncle turned him around and told him to look back at their tracks. His uncle’s tracks were a straight, perfect line directly from their starting point to where they stood. Young Frank’s tracks were wild, meandering all over the field.
"Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again," his uncle said. "And see how my tracks aim directly to my goal. There is an important lesson in that."
Frank would go on to say that he indeed did learn a lesson that day that would stick with him the rest of his life.