Beth and Bob have been married for 54 years. Together they raised six sons. Now they have 19 grandchildren. After morning Mass the other day, Beth stopped me and said, “Sister, I have a story to share with you.” We sat down together in a pew where she took out a greeting card from her purse.
It was a card Beth and Bob had received–out of the blue–from their oldest grandson, Ben, and his wife Becca. The front of the card said, “Happy thoughts can make any day a sunny one.” Inside was a lottery ticket. When they scratched it off, they were hoping to see three matching dollar amounts, indicating they were winners. No such luck. But under the losing numbers was another area to scratch. When they scratched off that area, this message appeared: “We’re having a baby!”
I love this story. What a beautiful away to announce that a new baby is on the way! Inside the card, Ben and Becca had written: “Only the best grandparents get promoted to great-grandparents!”
The story puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Beth and Bob didn’t win any money with that lottery ticket. But they won something far more valuable: the news that they were having their first great-grandchild!
The story got me thinking. Most of us will go through life without winning a major lottery. But on another level, we are winning lotteries all the time. What kind of lotteries? The lottery of good friends… a loving spouse… cherished children and grandchildren (and even great-grandchildren!). The lottery of a religious vocation… good health… the beauty that surrounds us every day… the blessings of clean air, ample water, delicious food. The lottery of freedom… a good education… talents of all kinds… meaningful work… and (of course) our precious gift of Faith.
What is winning a bunch of money in a lottery compared to winning a PRICELESS and GRACE-FILLED LIFE?
What kind of “lotteries” have you won in life? In other words, what “prizes” have you received in your lifetime for which you are most grateful?
Has something that seemed at first to be a disappointment ever turned out to be a wonderful blessing for you?
What helps you keep your priorities straight?
ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m taking a break. I will NOT post a new reflection next Monday, September 23. If you miss “Sunflower Seeds” next week, you can go on the site and click on a post from previous years. Just type in a topic or a Monday date in the space on the right labeled “search,” and an earlier post should come up. Thank you for understanding my need to step away for a week! I’ll be back again Monday, September 30.
PS: Thank you to the wonderful people whom I met this past weekend for a retreat at Our Lady of the Pines in Fremont, Ohio. Special thanks to Sister Wanda who helped the weekend run smoothly!
PS #2: We Sisters of Notre Dame are holding our annual chicken (and ribs) Barbecue and Boutique Sunday, September 29, at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin High School at 13000 Auburn Road in Chardon, Ohio from noon until 5:00. I’ll be at the Book Nook from noon until 3:00. If you come, stop by and see me!
The great Indian poet Tagore said: “Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of humankind.” This song celebrates the birth of a new baby. It’s called “A Mother’s Song (Hannah’s Song),” but it could just as easily be called a father’s song, a grandparent’s song, or anyone’s song. It is sung by Rachel Aldous.
Do you have any thoughts on this week’s reflection? If so, we’d love to hear from you below!