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Posts Tagged ‘God-shaped hole’

Lottery TicketsMost of us have probably read or heard about lottery winners who blew their entire fortune. But this example was so astonishing, I had to investigate it.

According a 2010 story in the Britain’s Daily Mail, 26-year-old Michael Carroll was hoping to get his old job back as a trash collector, eight years after winning about $19 million in a lottery.

Why was he seeking employment again? Because the entire fortune is gone. Gone on drugs, gambling, parties, bling, a fleet of cars, and hundreds of prostitutes. Just a year after winning the lottery, he was smoking about $4,000 worth of crack cocaine every day and hosting lavish parties.

All this caused his wife to take their baby daughter and leave him. But according to the Daily Mail, this wake-up call instead caused Mr. Carroll to turn to prostitutes. He boasted about having sex with up to four per day (he didn’t need much sleep, thanks to the drugs), spending nearly $200,000 along the way.

“I only started to think about three things – drugs, sex, and gold (jewellery),” he told the newspaper.

I found a quote in a section of the Bible called ‘Proverbs’ that indirectly refers to what happened to Mr. Carroll: “Don’t drink too much wine and get drunk; don’t eat too much food and get fat. Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row, in a stupor and dressed in rags.” Mr. Carroll’s vices were different, but they certainly left him in the same dire straits.

His spectacular downfall aside, I also noticed the article mentioned Mr. Carroll had issues before the lottery win. For example, he showed up to collect the cheque in 2002 wearing what the journalist called an ‘electronic offender’s tag’ after being found drunk and disorderly. In other words, it wasn’t just the money that tossed his life into a sea of turbulence.

This leads me to conclude that, beyond having a breathtaking lack of wisdom, Mr. Carroll was – and probably still is – missing something his life. Something so significant he went to extraordinary lengths to fill it. And not one of them worked.

Blaise Pascal, the famed French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher, seemed to understand this. One of his most famous quotes says, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

How many of us will listen to the seductive siren call of fame, riches, career advancement, sex, extreme sports, drugs or alcohol? And how many will end up, if not destitute, then as spiritually empty as Michael Carroll?

Post your reaction below and let’s have a conversation.

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