Have you ever wondered what you would do if every wish you had came true? How about if all of your prayers were answered? I think we have all dreamed what would happen if we won the lottery. Pay some bills, quit work, give to charity, and help my family are some of the things I would do. But then what? Most of us don’t think what would happen next. Travel with friends maybe? No, they will have to work, and traveling by myself is lonely. Maybe buy a business for investment? No, then I would be working, wouldn’t I? Maybe we should take a look at someone who actually had this happen.
I recently read an article about Markus Persson. The majority of people would not recognize his name, and I know I didn’t. He is the creator of the hugely popular game, Minecraft. I really don’t know anything about the game, but I know most kids play it and it has allowed Markus Persson to say, “What now?” Persson’s development was purchased by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. That’s better than winning the lottery! He must be unbelievably happy right? Well, he bought a $70 million mansion by outbidding Jay-Z and Beyonce. His mansion has one whole wall of candy, and he is known to host very lavish parties for very wealthy and famous people. He is living everybody’s dream right? Believe it or not, he is actually not happy. Despite having all the money he will ever need dropped into his lap, it didn’t make him happy.
Persson recently posted some tweets, which answer what happens to someone who suddenly gets everything he ever wished for. One of the tweets that stuck with me said, “The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying, and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance.” After you let that sink in for a while, you realize that he is saying he doesn’t have a reason to try because he doesn’t need the money. He also is telling us that he can’t relate to others because we aren’t in the same position, and he doesn’t have the same problems as we do. He obviously isn’t asking for our sympathy. Most people would find 2.5 billion reasons to not feel bad for him. I think his tweets are a wake up call to us that sometimes what we ask or pray for isn’t always best for us.
His other tweets talk a lot about how he has no real friends, his former employees hate him, and he is very lonely. One tweet talks about how he stares at his reflection in the computer monitor while all of his friends are at work. The first thing that struck me as missing from all of his tweets was any mention of faith, or a relationship with God. So, maybe the problem isn’t an abundance of cash, but an absence of God. In his situation, if you have deep faith, you would have what one author calls a Zechariah moment. This is when, like Zechariah, our prayers are heard and answered, not exactly with what we prayed for, but with more than we would have ever dared to ask for. We see that God lavishes us with his love by answering our prayers so abundantly.
I believe that if Markus Persson had a deep love of God and a strong faith, he would see his fortune as a tremendous gift from God. He would then realize that when you are given much, much is expected of you. God didn’t lavish him with the intelligence to create a product that he could sell for $2.5 billion just to make him unhappy. There is something he is being asked to do, he just has to foster his relationship through faith to find out what that purpose is.
Remember when Willy Wonka tells Charlie at the end of the movie, “Be careful, Charlie. You know what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted?” Charlie answers that the man was happy. I believe that can be the case for all of us, and even for Markus Persson. However, without a relationship with God, having all of our dreams come true will be very lonely. We must take what we are given, strengthen our relationship with God, and use what we have in the way God intended. Without faith and prayer, we have no idea what that purpose is. As we approach the New Year, let’s make it our resolution to look at the abundance God has given all of us, and to talk to God to see what He wants us to with that abundance.