I have been told that, on average, 90% of lottery winners blow it all in five years or less. Some now live from paycheck to paycheck...others have had their marriage or social lives destroyed...and there are those who wish it had never happened.
But I don't want to talk about money. I want to focus on something much wider. I want to look the things we want most...our dreams.
Joseph had dreams. Actually, he had really big dreams...dreams that would make him a ruler over his own family. You know the story well. Jealousy got the better of his brothers and for many years, the dreams remained...well, dreams...or worse...nightmarish mockeries.
But things changed. Joseph's fortunes took a dramatic turn for good and his humiliations were changed into great honor. About thirteen years had past by this time. Did Joseph remember his dreams all those years? Did Jacob remember them? Did his brothers remember them?
We don't really know, but we are told that once his brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces in the dirt that the dreams came flooding back to Joseph. He who had once begged them for his life was now the one before whom they were begging. His dreams had come true! What would he do now?
There were basically two things he could have done. One was to blow it all right there and then. He had it in his power to take more than an eye for an eye. Imagine the thoughts that went through his mind! "They don't remember! They say they are honest men, but they lie!" Seriously, if you listen closely, you can hear the strains of a mini violin as the brothers relate their sob story to the Pharaoh's right hand man. "Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and in fact, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no more." And remember, Joseph did not know what they had told Jacob. Did his father know that he had been sold to the Midianites? If so, why had he not come looking for him? What sorts of memories came rushing back as he stood listening to their voices in his present and to the voices of his dreams in his past?
Don't move on too quickly at this point. Joseph shared the same flaws and foibles with the rest of humanity. Many believe that they have a right to bear grudges...that vengeance is sweet. Wars are made of such stuff.
But Joseph did not take this route. Perhaps he remembered that there was a part of the dream that was yet to be fulfilled. Here were only ten stars, not eleven, and the sun and the moon were absent. But Joseph more than likely knew that God had given him these dreams for good, not for evil, and in spite of all the earthly strings that may have been tugging at his heart, he chose not to give evil for evil, but to overcome evil through doing good. And because of his choice, not only did his dreams come true, but so did those of many others...many were blessed...family, friends, and foes alike.
Touch choice, true...but the right one.
What would you do should your dreams come true?