Friday, 9 September 2016

Missed Opportunities

It was 5.25pm and I was running late for a church cell-group meeting I've been assigned the responsibility of leading, but I needed to quickly get some refreshments before this meeting that is slated for 6.00pm. My mission was simple: to pass by a store, and with laser-focus grab all the items I need and head right with no distractions whatsoever. I mean ZERO distraction. Isn't it amazing how we think we have life figured out that we somehow think we run the show? God always likes to remind us He's the boss doesn't He? Anyway, so I get to the store as planned and briskly walk straight to the entrance, but there's a distraction. "Excuse me 'Ma!' Please come and help me beg my wife!!!" (He looked somewhat disheveled as he pleaded with his wife for whatever wrong he had committed, while his wife was reversing out of the parking lot) "Keep on begging her! You're on the right track," I said, as I kept on walking to this entrance refusing to be side-tracked at all costs. I was on a time-schedule. He still called out to me "Please! I've been begging her, just come and help me." I urged him to keep on begging her, but I did nothing else. As soon as I walked into the store I, and a friend instantly felt selfish, irresponsible, guilty, but most importantly, the cloud that hung over me was the reality of a missed opportunity.

I had just missed an important opportunity to minister grace, and who knows maybe even lead this couple to Christ. I kept on picking up the items I needed from the store, but my conscience kept on pricking and yelling at me. My peace was distorted--and there's nothing I dislike more. Do anything to me, but don't mess with my peace. After picking up the items, I stood at the check out queue but I kept thinking of this missed opportunity so I asked the friend I went to the store with to please pay for the items so that I could rush out to see if I could find this couple. I hurried outside, but they were gone. Oh the guilt that flooded my heart. I sat in the car, and said a prayer for this couple.

I'm reminded of the story in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus went to visit Martha, and Mary her sister sat at His feet soaking in His presence and just being with Christ, while Martha was too carried away preparing a big feast. She believed what she was doing was more important and as such Mary should be with her in the kitchen. She even came to ask Jesus to send Mary to help in the kitchen, but Jesus let Martha know she was DISTRACTED by what she felt was the important thing. He further told her that Mary had found what truly counts, and it won't be taken away from her. I was placed with an opportunity that truly counts to God, but I saw it as a distraction. Who knows if getting the snacks was the real distraction, but I was focused on the wrong thing. I totally missed a moment to restore a relationship in whatever way I could which is the heartbeat of God...focused on the wrong stuff. I repented!

We are presented with so many God-opportunities on a daily basis to be the hands, mouths, feet, ears, and hearts of Jesus. Do we accept these opportunities or reject them? I'm reminded of a day last week, I was driving home from work around 7.00pm and I saw a little girl walking down the street with a bucket in her hand, crying deeply. I was so tired, and all I could think about was a hot shower and climbing into my bed, and again I didn't want ANY DISTRACTION. She looked back at me as I drove past, like "Are you going to stop and help me?" No I didn't. It nudged at my heart a little, and I totally forgot about it as soon as I got home. Lord, I repent! One thing I have come to realise is compassion interrupts, and distracts. Craig Groeschel said, "To say you care but not act, is to not care at all." Every time the word compassion showed up in the Bible with regard to Jesus, it was always backed-up with a corresponding action. "Moved with compassion...He touched...(Matt. 14:14). He had compassion...He healed their sick. Matt. 20:34" 

We find ourselves praying for God to use us, and we want to be His vessels, and a million other similar prayers but the opportunities He has given us have been frustrated. I thoroughly repented last night, and by God's grace with my spiritual eyes I will learn to grab opportunities to represent Christ well. Open our eyes Lord. Quench the selfish desires in us. Let us burn with passion to minister to your people on a daily basis. Keep our eyes focused on what matters most. You are ALL we want. I repent for all the opportunities You've placed in front of me that I have been blind to, or I have turned down. Forgive me, and be merciful to me. I aim to do better. So help me God!

I love you. Mean it. Let's hunt for God-opportunites and make the best out of them. The world needs us!

Remain beauty-FULL! 

Favor O.

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