Opportunity

Woman walking cross country and trail in autumn forestBy Kathleen Flanagan

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;
make the most of every opportunity.
Let your conversation be always full of grace,
seasoned with salt, so that you may
know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)

I dare say I am far too cavalier about opportunities; the favorable circumstances that makes it possible to do something. I’ve been known to overlook, recoil from or ignore them altogether. Why is that?

For one thing, recognizing what is and isn’t an opportunity takes some discernment; and that often comes with age and wisdom, not to mention a long walk with Jesus. For yet another thing, my definition of opportunity often runs to the grandiose, discarding lesser forms as being insignificant, unworthy. After all, isn’t it far more important to lead a ministry or write a novel than to rock a child or prepare a meal? I think you get my drift.

My life has shifted from major metropolitan to rural living. In other words, opportunities for the grandiose rarely exist in a locale given to ranching and farming. What’s more, many folks here are of humble means; some are downright poor (among which are some of the most generous folk I’ve ever met). Dressing up has a new connotation that probably entails jeans. Even so, I’ve never encountered so many opportunities as I now have to walk with Jesus in the everyday, common, garden variety happenings of life. Slowly grandiose is vacating my vocabulary.

A trip to the grocery store is an opportunity to thank Him for the where-with-all to purchase food for our table; or to greet a stranger with a smile. Visiting Home Depot is to acknowledge how many ways and means He’s provided to build or repair things; things like a chink in one’s own armor or a damaged relationship. Many are the opportunities to aid a struggling family, or to purchase home grown or repurposed items in support of the community. Here’s the deal, we rarely see that which we aren’t looking for.

Today there is nothing on my calendar: No place to be; no people to engage; no major ministry goal to achieve. Even so, today is ripe with God’s favor and all the favorable conditions He’s afforded for the day’s doings; doings that are not dependent on circumstances or feelings.

Determining the where, what and how of such opportunities may well entail a nap or time alone in His word. Or it may mean the stepping out of one’s comfort zone to do something we’d normally avoid, or to pay a visit to the local nursing home, or to write a thank you note to someone in need of a good word, like our pastor.

Whatever they may be, God ordained opportunities are anything but mundane. What opportunity awaits you today?

Let’s not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a
harvest if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have opportunity,
let us do good to all people,
especially to those who belong
to the family of believers.
Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)

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.
Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)

Kathleen FlanaganHeadshot shares a wide array of transparent life experience with her pen. Faith and family are the bookends to her life as a wife, mother and grandmother. Until her recent retirement, Kathleen juggled a career in business management and church ministry. From the vantage point of her now-senior life, she shares the very personal aspects of her walk with Jesus ~ the good, the bad and the ugly. Her sassy perspectives will make you laugh, or cry, or think deeply about the trajectory of your life. She can be reached via her Blog at: Sassy Granny.

9 Responses to Opportunity

  1. When we wait for something big and flashy to do for God, we often miss the opportunities right in front of us. The key is listening to God and being willing to open our hearts to His direction!

    I love the rural life! For 2 more days, I’ll live in the busy, hectic city. But then on Friday, we’re moving to a place with a slower pace. It’s still not truly “rural”, but it has that small town feel and I am so looking forward to it…not only for the way I’ll feel there, but for the new opportunities that God may place in front of me there!

    Blessings, Joan

    • I’m excited for you, Joan. There’s something about “slower” that’s better suited to listening ~ the key you rightly point out for seeing and/or hearing God-ordained opportunities. May it be an experience and process that greatly blesses you.

      Thank you for sharing your insight. God bless …
      Kathleen

  2. What I find so compelling in your message is that serving our Savior may look a little different at times but never do we retire from the privilege of Kingdom work no matter how our lifestyle changes. So true. Leave it to Jesus to place that person, that challenge in our life for His glorious purposes. I’m joining you to open my heart to His call; it’s the best life.

    • ” … never do we retire from the privilege of Kingdom work …” = Golden! It goes hand-in-hand with the concept of blooming where we’re planted. And I know you well enough to know you are always eager to tell Him, “Yes, Lord. I’ll go. Send me.”

      Love your heart, sweet friend.

  3. You have just described my world. I have my ‘people’ within this small town, and the daily contact and sharing is not from the pulpit, but oh so rewarding. Great words Kathleen, and all of it is God’s work. I see it and sense it, and my life is blessed in new ways every day. Welcome to rural America! God is alive and well here too.

    xo

    • I’ve seen & enjoyed your little slice of rural America, Sonja. I’m a cowgirl at heart (without horse or heifer), & rooting in rural soil suits me just fine. I have to believe those special people add color & joy to your daily life, and you theirs. God is so good at building bonds. I know he has with us.

      Love you, dear friend.
      Kathleen

  4. Kathleen, no matter where you go you always seem to bless others. I’ve been a recipient of that blessing and for that I’m so grateful. Your post does cause me to pause and remember that I too have opportunities and I certainly don’t want to waste them. Thank you for the reminder my friend.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

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