A young man was in love with the farmer’s daughter. When he went to her father to “ask for her hand” in marriage, the farmer looked him up and down, then replied. “Sure, son, on one condition.”
“Go stand out in the middle of that field. I’m going to relese three bulls, one at a time. If you can grab the tail of one of the three, you can marry my daughter.”
He was madly in love. “No problem” he thought. When the chute opened, the biggest, badest bull he could ever imagine came charging out. Quicky he ran to the fence thinking the next bull had to be a better choice.
When the farmer opened the chute again, the second bull was worse than the first. It was fierce. Mean looking. It pawed the ground. Grunting. Slobbering. And then charged! Once again the young man ran to the fence and let the second bull pass by. The last bull couldn’t be any worse!
The third time the chute opend, out came the scrawniest little bull you’ve ever seen. Weak-looking. Mild mannered. It just sauntered out into the field. The young man smiled. This was his bull! His opportunity! The farmer’s daughter would be his wife. As the bull came by, he positioned himself perfectly and lunged at just the exact moment. He grabbed for the tail… but this little bull had no tail!
Isn’t life like that? Full of opportunities. Some are easy. Others are difficult. But if we wait for the perfect opportunity, too often we miss out! Listen to what Paul said about opportunity.
“Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (Eph 5:15-17)
Today and for the next two days I want us to consider these verses. There are several lessons we can learn about opportunity.
Paul warns the Ephesians, and by implication and application, you and I, to be careful how we live. One verse says to “look carefully. Another says to “walk circumspectly.” It means to be careful. To be diligent. To be exact. You will miss out on a lot of good opportunities if you fail to pay attention. If you aren’t careful. Consider these four life-style mistakes that folks make.
You will miss out on a lot of good opportunities….
(1) If you live recklessly. Solomon said, “ A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.” (Prov. 14:16). Being careless, rash, and brash will hinder you from making the most of your opportunities.
(2) If you live Selfishly. One of the works of the flesh is “self ambition” (Gal. 5:20). If you are all self absorbed, self-centered, and ego-driven, you won’t see the many opportunities to serve others.
(3) If you live fearfully. Fear will paralyze you from acting, from pursuing opportunity, from stepping out in faith. The one talent man in Jesus parable failed to seize opportunities because he said, “I was afraid.” What God said to Joshua when he presented Joshua with the opportunity of leading Israel into the land of promise, he says to you and I “Be not afraid!” (Josh. 1:6-9)
(4) If you live aimlessly. The apostle Paul wrote, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). Paul was focused. Goal-oriented. Purpose-driven. God doesn’t want us to be tossed about aimlessly, but to live with resolve.
If we are to make the most of our opportunities. We must be careful how we live. Live responsibility. Live selflessly. Live courageously. Live purposefully.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman