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Lustfully Scammed

Several years ago, I got scammed.

I returned home from a LONG meeting… it was about 9:45 pm. To my surprise, the kids were still awake, and Tracie’s first excitable words to me were, “You’ve won a car!” This got my attention, and I hit the play button on the answering machine to hear the message. It was from Leo, who worked for the “Prize Fulfillment Center.” My excitement grew as I listened to his voice about the prize I had won from a competition I had entered a few months ago. While he didn’t tell me which competition it was, it is not unusual for me to join such competitions.

This wasn’t just any prize… it was a brand Lincoln Navigator, fully loaded and worth around $45,000! Having mentioned that I only had a certain amount of time to reply, I immediately called his voicemail and, with great excitement, left all my phone numbers to ensure he would call me back. I even called back, leaving a message to confirm the numbers I had left previously.

My mind was running through what I’d do with this prize. I’d probably sell it because the gas and insurance would be too expensive, and such a large car wouldn’t be environmentally friendly. With the money, we could pay off this, and do this, and do that. As I was recapping this to Bethany, I realized how self-centered my requests were, and in some desperate attempt at selflessness, I asked her to help brainstorm with me how we could give some of the money away!

I could hardly stand it! I rarely win anything, especially like this. While realizing that I’d probably have to wait for the morning to get a callback, I decided to try to find out more about my prize, who the company was, etc. It was hard to find out too much info; although I did have a name and a number, one site was beneficial. It was called Listed on this site were comments from almost 100 people who had received a similar phone call to mine from the same number, all saying that this message was nothing more than a marketing scam to try and get me to purchase some products that I didn’t need and couldn’t afford.

I was so deflated when I heard about this! My dreams were shattered, my excitement deflated, and my hope gone.

Two things struck and concerned me about this… First was my level of naivety regarding this phone call. I really should have been able to see through many more than a few dubious clues. Secondly, I am concerned about how quickly my hope level increased at this message and how quickly it dropped when it wasn’t to be.

I am very well aware of Jesus' words about putting our trust and treasure in the things of this world and often fighting the lust and desire that ‘stuff’ brings. Most of all, though, this situation reminds me of hope. This hope that I attached myself to last Monday was simply a fantasy. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 5:5 that our hope in Jesus “does not disappoint us.”

Hold on to real hope today!

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