So it’s here, “The race that stops a nation”. A $6 million two-miler ‘Melbourne Cup’ for 24 horses, three-quarters of the field being overseas raiders. More than 100,000 people at the track and countless more watching on television. And, what is it all for? The races are, maybe not exclusively, but largely, for the purpose of gambling. With a love for sport or fashion, one might be vaguely interested, but it’s surely having some money on the outcome, even the fun ‘cheap sweep’, that makes the occasion. And that’s the pulling power of the win. Whether the lotto, the horses, the pokies, or any other kind of gambling, the lure can be quite insidious.
I’ve posted elsewhere on the statistics that make gambling such a problem, but I can’t help coming back to a concern over what it is that consumes our interest. The pastimes and pleasures of life become an altogether different proposition when our focus is linked to our eternal destiny. The “God- please-let-me-win-lotto-and-I’ll-give-you-half” prayers really just reveal a heart that is drawn to the affairs of this world, albeit quite understandably. Money certainly helps in life. But when we’re lured by the hip pocket, our hearts and minds are sure to follow! Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 not only considers the pursuit of worldly pleasures to be meaningless but even puts the achievements of our own hard work into perspective: “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”
On the other hand, where our hearts are consumed with the life beyond, then we will devote our time and resources (and hard work) to aligning our lives, and those of others, to an eternity rescued from Hell and directed Heavenward. Everything changes. Others notice. Ecclesiastes 12:13 concludes, after surveying the “meaninglessness” of everything our world has to offer, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
Easy to say, right to believe, hard to live!
Especially on Cup Day.