My blogs are very personal and I regard them as a way to strengthen myself in the Lord and also share pieces of me. But this particular entry struck a chord with me and really has me pondering on missed opportunities. These are opportunities that God presented to me in one form or another and I neglected them or blatantly walked away from them.
Allow me to share where these thoughts are emanating from. I called a friend of mine (let’s call him Kevin) this week and we were discussing a number of things. At the end of the conversation, he said, “Milo (a nickname some of my close friends call me), let me tell you this before you go. About 2 years ago I purchased a copy of your book (What is the Woman Saying) and gave it to a female friend (let’s call her Joanna). She didn’t read the book at the time but instead shelved it”. I can fully relate to what she did, since I myself have purchased books that I have only ever touched twice – once upon purchasing and subsequently when putting it on my bookcase.
Kevin explained that Joanna told him that when she eventually started reading the book, it was such a blessing to her. She explained that the knowledge was helpful and relevant to a key challenge she was currently facing. So much so that she lamented that if she had read the book 2 years ago, it would have helped her navigate her present situation better or possibly avoid it altogether.
I am sure most of us can relate to Joanna’s actions. Personally I believe there is a time and a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3) and maybe the season for her reading my book was not at the initial moment of receiving it. But I cannot help but think how much more she could have benefited if she had first grasped the opportunity when it was presented to her. As by her own admission, she saw the need to have read it sooner.
After Kevin related the events with Joanna, my first thought was to give God thanks for allowing me to write a book which blesses others. Then it quickly moved to the underlining scenario. The scenario being, many times, God brings blessings our way but we don’t see it. We don’t see it because the blessings come subtle in nature and without fan fair, it comes as a one off encounter with and individual and we miss it, or sometimes it comes as challenges and we don’t embrace it.
Now hear some of my scenarios where God brought opportunities to me but I didn’t harness it. A friend sent me an email once and said to purchase a particular stock in a company and I ignored it. Then one month after, the stock doubled in price and I could have made a 100% return on my investment. If I was only brave enough, $50,000 could have easily turned into $100,000.
Another time my dad told me to purchase some land which was selling cheaply. I was young so I didn’t listen and in a few years’ time, the land prices skyrocketed and the area turned into a fashionable/lucrative housing development. Other times I can recall friends approaching me to partner with business opportunities, or even God depositing business ideas directly within me. Only to have it stay right there, within me! Too frighten to launch out and forgetting that the righteous are bold like a lion (Proverbs 28:1)
That is just a short list of the financial opportunities I passed up, but I can also mention missed opportunities in other areas as well. God opened up networking and friendship opportunities but when they presented themselves, I stayed in a corner and didn’t introduce myself or make my presence and intentions known. Educational courses I started but never finished, then being filled with strong regret. God gave me opportunities to hear sermons in order to bless me but I didn’t apply the Word as I should and ended up not getting the fullness of the blessing He had in store. Opportunities, Opportunities, Opportunities…Missed, Missed, Missed…! Who can I point fingers at but myself.
Our God is a constant giver (Deuteronomy 8:18, John 3:16) but sometimes we are not poised to receive what is in His out stretched arms. Mainly because we don’t like the initial packaging of the gift/opportunity/blessing. We thought it would have come differently. As a result, we are always Passing Over Opportunities Regularly (POOR). This closed minded approach to looking at opportunities which come into our grasp will always keep us forever POOR.
I want to encourage us today to be sensitive to the many and varying opportunities God brings into our reach. I believe that God puts it into our reach, but not into our hands. We usually still have some work to do to stretch out and get it. As the expression goes, “things don’t come to us, we go to it”.
If you have experienced wasted opportunities as I have, then I say don’t get too wrapped up in the past. “Don’t cry over spilled milk, just pour yourself another glass” and be more careful in the future. Start today, and be on the lookout to grasp every God given opportunity which comes your way.
PS: Dane Miller was last seen on his porch drinking a full glass of milk while thinking about the new opportunities he will be going after.
Note: The acronym POOR was told to me by my friend and brother in the Lord, Mr. D. Waterman.
Your Brother in the Lord,
Dane Miller | Author
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Truly a blessing to have have read this. As one who frequently coined acronyms in my role as a teacher/Principal, I know the benefit of it helping the retain the information shared. I loved the concept that God places “opportunities into our reach but not into our hands”. We have to partner with Him, to fulfil His purposes in our lives. Will try to be observant to grasp every opportunity.
Great! Glad you enjoyed it!. It is actually one of my favorite!
Ecclesiastes 11:6 (NIV-WS)
6 Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.
Very interesting and captivating read. Made me immediately revisit my past as I am sure many who read it did the same.
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Glad you liked it Brian.