And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.Galatians 6:9-10
My daughter’s favorite (okay, it’s really my favorite) knock-knock joke when she was little was:
Me: Knock, knock.
You: Who’s there?
Me: Interrupting Cow.
You: Interrupting . . .
Most everyone has heard the phrase, “opportunity knocks.” It basically means that opportunities will not let themselves into your life on their own. They’ll let you know that they’re there, but you’ve got to get off the couch to let opportunity in or turn down your music to hear it knocking. But that’s only part of the story, only part of the saying. The whole old English proverb is “opportunity knocks but once.” Now the saying has increased urgency; you get only one chance to seize opportunity (or at least each unique opportunity).
Who knows how many opportunities you’ve left unanswered because you were blasting headphones or had shampoo in your hair? Or simply because you were just too afraid to answer the door? Maybe you were like me and you underperformed in high school and wasted opportunities for scholarships. Or maybe your lost opportunities revolve around relationships—friends, family, or romantic ones. Whatever unanswered opportunities you mourn, here is the most important thing for you to grasp and remember:
More opportunities will come. Different ones, but more will come.
Opportunity is messy. Like the artist who works hard on her painting, spilling paint as she lifts brush to canvas, so is the person who takes the opportunity to change his or her life. Change is messy; creation is messy; it requires many moving parts, and those moving parts can displace the order of things. But messy isn’t always bad when it’s mess with a reason. When the artist sits down to create, she isn’t attacking her work without any rhyme or reason, but she has envisioned what her work will finally look like. Opportunity is the same way; it requires visualizing what can happen. The opportunity to love others can only be fulfilled when you think about it beforehand; it requires you to remember how you have been loved first.
If you believe in a God who knows all, sees all, and is everywhere at once, then you have to know that the world is your opportunity. And that opportunity is not to be feared but to be embraced. Today is the first day of your unlimited opportunity to love God and love others. What will you do?”
Questions to ponder
What is one opportunity that you feel you have missed, and why didn’t you seize it?
What is one goal or opportunity that you’ve been hoping for a “lottery” answer to but need to approach with “baby steps”?”
Take a moment to thank God for the opportunities he’s given you and pray that you can be more attentive and prepared for the ones that let you share about him with others.