It helps if you buy a ticket

John, who was in financial difficulty, walked into a church and started to pray. ”Listen God,” John said. ”I know I haven’t been perfect but I really need to win the lottery. I don’t have a lot of money. Please help me out.”

He left the church, a week went by, and he hadn’t won the lottery, so he walked into a synagogue. ”Come on, God,” he said. ”I really need this money. My mom needs surgery and I have bills to pay. Please let me win the lottery.”

He left the synagogue, a week went by, and he didn’t win the lottery. So, he went to a mosque and started to pray again. ”You’re starting to disappoint me, God,” he said. ”I’ve prayed and prayed. If you just let me win the lottery, I’ll be a better person. I don’t have to win the jackpot, just enough to get me out of debt. I’ll give some to charity, even. Just let me win the lottery.”

John thought this did it, so he got up and walked outside. The clouds opened up and a booming voice said, ”John, buy a f’ing lottery ticket.”

There are a few variations on this joke out there. I found this version on at Comedy Central without specific author attribution. What I like about this version over the others is that in it, John seems like a pretty decent, open-minded guy. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to be instantly successful except for one thing – do the actual work.

There is a pretty good chance that neither you nor I were one of the lucky winners fortunate enough to share one-third of the $1.6 billion (that’s billion with a B) prize in the national lottery. Which means if we want to be successful, our only option left is to do the work. Unfortunately, in my case, this means heading out for another round of business travel. You’d think the day job would have learned by now not to send me on these sort of things. I should be back to writing as usual next week…that is unless I’ve won, in which case, I’ll still be writing, but with better scenery in the background.