It’s a Bet!

I remember my Grandfather when he was an old man, But the world he was born into was very different to the world of today. Street transport was all by horse. I remember the horse troughs in every road so that the horses could stop and drink, and there were carts and carriages pulled by all kinds of horses , plus people riding everywhere on horseback. Little wonder that from an early age my Grand dad wanted to be a ‘Vet and work with horses.

Money was tight and to attend a college to train as a vet was expensive, but he worked hard to save every penny he could make all through his childhood, and when he left school at 11 or 12 years of age. he could put even more in the box for vet college.

He also accumulated many friends who shared his consuming interest in horses. One day when they were talking about racehorses and what made for winners my Gran dad became quite sure he knew which horse would win one of the races,that his friends told him that seeing he was so sure he should put all the money he had saved on this horse to win, he could then go to college at once.

It seemed a wonderful idea and he placed all his savings on this horse to win.

It lost ! And he was never able to achieve his life’s ambition to be a vet. He went to work handling the horses for the London Buses. After the first world war, in the 1920’s the London horse buses were replaced with motor buses and he never worked with horses again.

When I was a very young man I became a Civil Servant for a little while, working in a large office. One of the men came to me saying that everyone in the office was joining in to a “Fun Sweep-stake” for the horse race, The Derby. The tickets were only a shilling each, and as I had just four shillings in my pocket I had four, then forgot all about it.

Each ticket had the persons name written on it and put into one hat, the names of the horses were put into the other hat, and as there were more people than horses many people did not get a horse at all on the draw out.

On the day of the race some of the staff listened to the race on the radio, and soon it was all over. A small crowd came to me to know how I had done it, I had got four horses and they had come in first, second, third, and forth. I went home with a bit of extra cash in my pocket that day !

I was told that there was another race called The Oakes and people wanted me to tell them which horse would win as they thought I knew something that could help them win lots of money. That day I wanted to believe that I could make money by gambling, that I had some sort of luck with me.

But I told myself I would never in all my life use money in this way again. Whatever money we have is a gift from God and it was given as a stewardship. We are all responsible for what we do with what we have. And in the days ahead there may be many people who are in great need, for some are losing their work, and are in great need of what we could give them. It is good to remember that “The love of money is the root of all evil”. And what we have is a gift from God. Don’t gamble with any thing ! It is selfish and makes you a loser

I have never had a need since I made that decision. Try it – Gerald Gossage.

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