P. R. Van Gorder tells the story of a sculptor who was showing a visitor some marble figures displayed in his studio. One unusual sculpture caught the guest’s attention. It had two peculiar features. Where the statue’s face normally would have been, the sculptor had chiseled a covering of hair, and on both feet were wings.
“What is the name of this one?” asked the visitor.
“Opportunity,” the artist answered
“Why is its face hidden?”
“Because,” said the craftsman, “we seldom know opportunity when he comes to us.”
“And why does he have wings on his feet?”
“Because he is soon gone, and once gone, he cannot be overtaken.”
Our word of the week is opportunity.
The Bible says, “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…..” (Ephesians 5:16)
In order for us to make the most of our opportunities, we need to do three things.
(1) Seek Opportunity.
Jesus said “seek and you shall find” Yet, what are we seeking? Some seek ease. Wealth. Prestige. Or acceptance. We attract what we think about. What we are looking for. What we are trying to obtain?
Paul exhorted, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10). A fair question for Christians is this: Are you seeking opportunities to do good?
(2) See Opportunity.
Jesus saw an opportunity to share His message with an immoral Samaritan woman where he stopped for a drink of water. She was amazed that he would even talk to her. Yet the conversion led to her acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. And she shared it with others. When the apostles returned from town they were also astounded. Jesus’ response to them is appropriate for us today.
Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. (Jn 4:35)
J Oswald Sanders put it this way, “Eyes that look are common, eyes that see are rare.” If we are to be successful spiritually, we need to open our eyes. Really see. Visualize the opportunities around us to do good. And share the gospel message.
What opportunities do you see?
(3) Seize the Opportunity.
It’s not enough to seek opportunity or even to see it, we must seize it. Jonathan Winters said, “I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it” How often have we had an opportunity just slip through our fingers? Knowing and realizing are not enough. We are called upon to act. To follow through. To do something.
Seizing opportunities calls for courage, demands confidence, and requires passion. And of course, seizing opportunity involves work. “Opportunity is missed by most people,” once observed Thomas Edison, “Because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
This time of year there are many opportunities. To serve. To help. To give. To minister. To make a difference. Seek them. See them. And then seize them!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman