An old friend I had not seen for years asked “the question” in the middle of a casual lunch.
It came out of nowhere.
He set down his coffee cup looked directly at me and said,
“Ken, if you were given the opportunity to choose between getting a tax free check for $50,000,000 (that’s 50million!) today, or you could go back to age 5 (that’s five) and live your life again knowing all that you have learned during your 70 (that’s seventy) years on earth, which would you choose?”
I pondered the question for days…
$50,000,000!!! That’s a hunk of change.
In whatever time I have left, I would not have a single financial worry.
All my grandchildren could be assured a college education.
I would have enough leftover to help so many people.
I could afford a pair of skinny jeans!
An amazing chance to live my life again.
I could live my life not making some of the mistakes I made the first time around.
I would already know the secrets to success.
I would realize from the beginning the value of trusting and following Christ.
I would be cute again!
Finally I made my decision. But I am not going to tell you what it is until my next blog post.
First, I want to know what you would decide and why.
BTW this is not a test there is no perfect answer. [reminder]
Age 5… Id do so much differently! I would be able to correct so many mistakes, and Id focus on Christ more, and Id listen to my mother more
I wouldn’t want to live my life over again, even knowing what I know now. I think each age is precious, God’s forgiveness is complete , and have never wanted to go back and fix old stuff.
I’m also not sure if I would want the money either. Unless I already had a plan for it that included donating it to a top,foundation like Bill and Melinda Gates – a group that is used to that level of donation. Such a large amount of money could corrupt me and the groups I would donate to. I might set up my own foundation with all but a small amount, and use that remaining money to fund my business.
I thought this was too hard to answer until I remembered that I can’t change what is past and that I mustn’t live there so I’ll take the money thanks Ken and do whatever good I can with it – there’s so much that needs aid – starvation, poverty, illness and I’d try to invest so that it keeps on giving – Evelyn
Ken – you can never cross the same river twice – we forget that what makes childhood great is well – being a child and not knowing. Take the cash- your impulse is correct: with the heart and soul you have, the good you would do would be simply epic. For me, once family is set comfortably not extravagantly, I would start buying up shuttered churches or land to put in churches in all of our great cities. Like a big heart transplant for the US soul. Breaks my heart when I attend mass on the road in wonderful stunning architecturally magnificent and darn near structurally unsound churches because of neglect …. think of the seed capital “matching funds” this gift could spark all over the place!
If I had been at lunch with you, my “question” is “if you could take a pill and forget all the pain and sorrow and trouble in your life, would you take it?”
Take the money & ask the LORD what He would have me do with it since all gifts come from Him. He would have His purposes in mind. Everything we have comes from His generosity. I have learned to be content with little by His grace. Joy & peace are gifts of the Spirit and can’t be bought 🙂
Wow…what a quandary! It’s taken me a full 24 hours to decide…I take the money! Being in my early 40’s, I can see a vision of what I’d be able to do with that much money to not only set my family on path for financial security for generations to come, but for others as well. While it’d be nice to go back and relive some moments without mistakes I made, the mistakes are part of who I am today. Plus, as stubborn as I am, I sometimes learn best from mistakes!
this didn’t even take me five minutes. I know I would totally messed up my life the second time around. I would not only duplicate all of the insane mistakes but add a whole truck load more. I would double down on the past mistakes, ( I turned out OK the first time with a few mistakes what’s to lose?) I’d seek out Debbie years ahead of time and find myself arrested for stalking in the 60’s, before it’s even a crime! Before long Rod Serling would appear and start the closing monologue: “poor Jimmy trying to live his life again, he tried to hurry long to the good parts, failing to realize the ‘whole’ was the sum of the parts – good and bad. ” The camera would close in on a pathetic little me, crying out: “I’ve changed my mind! I want the 50 million… I want the 50 million… I want – fade to black
I have been blessed in my 74 years on this earth and I might do better another go around but I might not, so I would take the money and see what good I could do with it. A new adventure!!
50 million for all your reasons. If you do life over you might get hit by a truck!
Neither unless I could change some things about my childhood and have my Mum not die when I was 5. Good and bad I am happy with the life I have lived. Money will not make me happy just add stress of how to spend it, who to share it with. I’d go crazy with the money for sure.
At this point in my life, I have learned that the choices that I made in the past have brought me to where I am today, right or wrong. There are many choices that I would LOVE to change, but I feel that I am just too tired to go back and go through 52 years of life again. lol However, getting to start at 5 years of age and being able to make different choices sounds like a good idea, but who says that I would make good choices the 2nd time around. I would end up in different places making different mistakes. 🙂 If I took the money, I’m sure that it would last me the rest of my life and I would be able to help others, but I would still be in poor health because of the poor choices that I made. Such a dilemma! Actually, I have fantasized about having millions of dollars and ‘saving the world’ with it, but I have come to realize that we all struggle in different ways for the same reason…to become stronger. We all have our struggles and most of us manage to fight through them. I might end up making someone weak by giving them money. So, I guess, in the end, I would choose…neither. Thanks for sharing your story!
I think I’d take the money…on the premise that with my limited wisdom I’d probably still make the same mistakes or gamble with the Word that says “we have no promise of tomorrow.”
It would be cliché of me to write of all the good that I could do with 50mil but the reality is, I’d give a tithe and a substantial offer to the churches that have impacted me along the way. I’d donate a good portion to humanitarian charities and then…I would splurge. World trips with the wife and golf along the way.
If we were allowed to save the lives of those we knew we would lose unexpectedly, I know a part of me would be very tempted to do it again so I could save them but I expect that would be against the rules because God controls the plan. So assuming we can’t warn those we love I would probably go for the money. Being able to help kids get through college without debt, getting to slow down from work a bit to have more time with people and having enough to spread it around to make others lives better too – That would be a SO much fun! With that much money you could give most of it away, make a lot of people smile and still have enough to take care of family. Plus, even with a second chance, there’d still be mistakes. They’d just be different ones. That’s why we need Him 😉
wow. i have many regrets. the notion of getting a ‘redo’ is very appealing. but i have no idea how God may have used who i was for His purposes. i may have been a paul….or i may have been a pharaoh. either way, God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick. who am i to go back and try to straighten the stick that was me? and besides, hasn’t He already done that for me through my precious Lord Jesus? i can only go forward, under His saving Grace, and hope i have become a better vessel along the way. let the past stay in the past. as for the money. that may be a good thing….it may be a bad thing. but that is the future.
I would rather go back to 5yrs. That’s a chance you cannot get anywhere. I will collect money on my way up.
If we went back to 5 years old, we wouldn’t make the SAME mistakes again, we would just make DIFFERENT mistakes! I might would not have married the same person so my children (grown men, both veterans) would not be the same people they are today. I wold take the money and support comedians like, oh, say….that guy named Ken….and missionaries…..
I’d take the money. All the mistakes I made have humbled me and made me who I am. A better person. They have also led me to God. That made me a better person. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life, no matter how bad/hard it is. From all that I’ve learned, I could do a tremendous amount of good with the money!
I would definitely go back and live life again, using the wisdom I have gained.
I would rather go threw my life only one time. Yes we would know the answers to the stuff that is hard and we would be able to avoid it. But that doesn’t mean that new difficulties would not come up. I would also rather live one life and be with Christ than live on earth twice. So I would take the money.
I would take the money, because I want to travel and I could do that and help my sisters not have to wonder where their money is coming from. Now all of a sudden, I realize the error of that choice, for now the three of us are trusting God for our finances, and if I received all that money we would miss out on God’s provision for us which builds our faith.
Even just a week ago, I would have decided to go back and relive my life. But the past few days, God has completely changed my heart about two very specific events. If it weren’t for the devastation of the first event, and the complete heart shattering event of the second, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s because of those two events that I’ve now experienced the grace and love and complete forgiveness and healing that God gives. If I lived my life over again, everything would be different, yes, but maybe I’m right where I’m supposed to be. It’s through my experiences that I’ve learned to rely heavily on God through depression and anxiety. It’s because of the dark places that I can see with spiritual eyes. It’s in the dark places where my faith grows. So I would take the money, live comfortably, and give to those who need it. Maybe that money is what sparks others to get out of their own darkness.
Knowing my imperfection as a human being, the opportunity to start over would not prevent me from sinning, even if “knowing” the little Inknow now experiences I have had. I might avoid some pitfalls, but I would still be a sinner. Money has its temptations. Would someone say I’m not good taking the money even if I am able to pray for guidance on the best use of it? Would I be criticized if I did nothing, neigh the “do over” or taking the money to use for good? Could the answer be, pray for Yahweh’s guidance on the choice? Hebrews 8:12 “since I shall forgive their guilt and never more call their sins to mind”. Would my behavior if I went back outweigh the additional sins I commit? Would taking the money prove to be too tempting to abuse even some of it? Would I be forced to choose or may I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in this decision? I would like to say, “It’s not up to me.”