Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Pros and Cons (08/14/14)
TITLE: A Winning Alternative
By Chris Goglin
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“Stop!” cried Becky, “500, 200, 700…oh, not 2.50! I always get the lowest amount, are these machines rigged?”
“Ah…too bad,” winced Tom, her faithful husband and slot companion. “Let’s try that machine over there.” Several hours slipped by to no avail in the finance department.
“Hey …the new Willy Wonka machine,” Becky pointed anxiously, “how about using our last ten? Hurry, before someone takes it!"
The gambling duo hustled over to the chocolate factory fantasy to win their million.
Becky and Tom loved spending time playing the slot machines. After retiring from their jobs, the first place they thought of for fun in their golden years was moving to Nevada…the mecca of many past vacations. After moving into a nice senior apartment, they planned to tour the neighborhood and the many casinos dotting the riverbanks. The couple not only enjoyed the entertainment available in their new location, but also attended church regularly. One day riding home from a service, Becky remembered the sermon vividly.
“The sermon really got to me today when Pastor said ‘some people will never open a Bible, but the only Bible they will ever see is YOU.’…what if they saw us at the casino?”
“Ah, I don’t think we are doing anything wrong,” Tom said turning the wheel, “It’s just like playing a challenging game of golf or bowling…it’s a fun thing to do.”
“Remember the verse Pastor used today? ‘Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable’ (Philippians 4:8 NIV). I would feel awful if someone saw us there…but I love playing those fascinating machines. Although it is relaxing and competitive, the environment does promote smoking and drinking…they should have a Christian gaming casino….uh…forget it….that sounds bad too. “
Turning down their street, Tom added, “I think you are going a little overboard here, don’t you remember last month how “God” let us win over $700 that paid our bills and birthday gifts for the kids?”
“Yeah, it was nice having the extra money, but was that really from God? Maybe it was from Satan trying to pull us down to his level of thinking. I feel like I am stretched in two different directions and don’t know what to do. Have I been putting my trust in a machine instead of God to supply our needs?”
“Well, I guess we could be a better example, maybe we can go for a hike next week instead,” Tom resolved.
“…and I can bring along a picnic lunch and invite our new neighbors.”
“Orrrrr,” Tom declared, “We could use our extra money for a trip to see our grandchildren in Pennsylvania, or go on a second honeymoon!”
Becky smiled with a mischievous glance.
They arrived home feeling hopeful and ready to make a change. Although the lure of gambling was still on their minds, God had nudged their conscience enough to change their perspective about winning in the game of life.
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