And the winner is…

Coffee Girl

Renae Brumbaugh is a bestselling author, award-winning humor columnist, and freelance writer.

Renae Brumbaugh is a bestselling author, award-winning humor columnist, and freelance writer.

I entered a contest yesterday. Not a competition, just a contest. I put my name in the hat to win a darling little purse. And I really hope I win, for that will balance things out for me. I haven’t had the best of luck when it comes to contests.

Years ago, when I was in college, I decided to clean out my desk. Now, this was not a weekly chore for me. It wasn’t even a yearly chore, as you will soon learn. My decision to clean out that desk was not out of any kind of desire to be organized. I just needed a place to store my pencils.

That desk was crammed full of all kinds of notes and receipts, bent-out-of-shape paper clips, half finished homework assignments (I have no idea where the other half went), class notes from the distant past, old lipstick tubes, nearly-empty eye shadow containers, and everything else you can imagine might occupy a 21-year-old female’s space. When the drawer would no longer open, I knew it was time to pull out the old circular file and get rid of some stuff.

I went piece by piece through my own historical documents and threw most of them away. When my pile dwindled to a manageable mess, I pulled the drawer completely out of its cubby. (Is that what you call the thing the drawer sits in?)

When I thought the cubby was empty, I looked inside, waaaay to the back. There was a small, index-sized card. I reached in and grabbed it, and lo and behold, it was an old, unused, unscratched contest card from McDonald’s. Remember those? You were supposed to scratch off two boxes, and underneath each was one half of a picture. If you got, say, both halves of the Big Mac, you won a free Big Mac. But most times you ended up with half a French fry and half a milkshake, and you won nothing.

I checked the date, and the deadline for claiming any prize was two years previous. I started to toss it in the trash, but curiosity got the better of me. I grabbed a penny and started scratching.

There, beneath the first box, was one half of a car. I laughed and kept scratching, expecting to find half a soda in the other box. But wait—was that a wheel? And . . . were those taillights? It couldn’t be . . . no, no, no! This was a nightmare!

Yes. I promise you, this is the truth. I scratched off the front and the back to the car. I stared at the card in my hand, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. I have no idea how long I sat there, mourning what was lost and could never be found. I double and triple checked the deadline date, to no avail. The wording was very clear. Any prizes not claimed by the date on the card could never be claimed.

So I really hope I win that little purse. It will somehow just make things a little more right, in my opinion.

It’s a good thing God doesn’t have a deadline on His grace. I’m glad He doesn’t offer His promises and say, “You have two weeks to claim my wisdom, my peace, my love. If you don’t respond in that time period, these offers become null and void.” God holds out wonderful treasures to each of us. We’re all winners. We simply have to claim our prizes.

So I guess, whether I win the purse or not, I can’t really complain.

But I still want that purse.

Psalm 145:13 “The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.”

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