I wonder if the creator of the arcade knew the phenomenon they would cause. I wonder if they knew how many pockets and purses they would empty so that a desperate child could play one more round of skee-ball in an attempt to earn a measly 500 more tickets in order to buy the red parachute man behind the glass.

Tickets, tickets, tickets.

My children can go years without thinking about them, but once they step into an arcade, something triggers in their mind, and all at once, tickets might as well be the only source of happiness that was ever made. They count them again and again. They fold them back and forth, back and forth, until they are in a tight handful of possibility. Losing even one would be a tragedy. In a child’s world, tickets are diamonds.

Imagine my delight last week when I felt a tap on my lower back at our local arcade. I was helping my daughter pound the moles into oblivion, and turned around to find a little boy with hands full of unravelling tickets. He held them out with a big grin and said, “Here. I think she wants these.” He dumped the whole lot of loot into my daughter’s hands. She didn’t even know how to respond. Her grin got bigger as he dug deep into his pockets to pull out even more. After he had sufficiently recreated Christmas morning for her, he skipped off with a joyful, “See ya!”

The tickets that I had hated just moments before became a Godsend. Why did they make me so happy? The best part of the story was my aunt’s reaction. “Was your Multiply Goodness post on Instagram today an invitation to give a little girl a bunch of tickets??” We just laughed! I laughed because I thought the question before she asked it.

I realized three things that day.

One — it is so easy to multiply goodness.

Two — even though I don’t follow through on every specific invitation from our Instagram feed (@multiplygoodness), I am already noticing how much easier it is to find opportunities to do good. It is on my mind more consistently. Habit has trained my heart to see more clearly. I read a line from Tim Keller today that seems fitting here. “Actions of love lead to feelings of love. Not the other way around.” My heart is more consistently filled with love.

Three — I think I am going to buy an arcade. They must make a killing.

David Butler

David Butler

David Butler never thought he would share his thoughts publicly the day he sat down 10 seconds into his very first talk in church. Now he teaches the scriptures full time and enjoys writing and speaking. He loves the scriptures fiercely–particularly the great stories of courage, faith, and deep, deliberate discipleship. Most of his days are spent with Jenny, his adorable wife, and his five spectacular renegade children. Being a dad is a treasure to him–an exhausting and exhilarating adventure. He loves, loves, loves good food and spontaneous ideas. He particularly looks forward to Christmas morning, the Fourth of July, the first day of summer, and every other day of summer. He and his wife and family currently live in Lehi, Utah, but dream of a beach house on the North Shore of Oahu.
David Butler

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