While We Have Opportunity

A young soldier and his commanding officer got on a train together. The only available seats were across from an attractive young lady who was traveling with her grandmother. As they engaged in pleasant conversation, the soldier and the young lady kept eyeing one another; there was an obvious mutual attraction. Suddenly the train went into a tunnel and the room became dark. Immediately two sounds were heard-the “smack” of a kiss, and the “whack“ of a slap across the face. The grandmother thought, “I can’t believe he kissed my granddaughter, but I’m glad she gave him the slap he deserved.“ The commanding officer thought, “I don’t blame the boy for kissing the girl, but it’s a shame that she missed his face and hit me instead.” The young girl thought, “I’m glad he kissed me, but I wish my grandmother hadn’t slapped him for doing it.“ And as the train broke into the sunlight, the soldier could not wipe the proud smile off his face. He had just seized the opportunity to kiss a pretty girl and slap his commanding officer and he had gotten away with both!

            This young soldier seized his opportunity. We have opportunities every day to serve God and do good for others. The problem is not a lack of opportunities; it is a lack of desire to seize the opportunities. When we really want something and the opportunity presents itself we will usually take it. If there is a job opening we desire, a vacation to be taken, an amount of money to be made, or even a hobby to be enjoyed. We have no problem clearing our schedules, rearranging our plans, or maybe even putting out a few dollars. It’s worth it because we desire it. However, is it a different story when it comes to doing good for others or doing things God would desire of us?

            Paul said in Galatians 6:1-10, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.  For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load. The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” (NASU)

            Paul admonishes us to do good while we have opportunities. We must take advantage of the opportunities while we can. There are those who no longer have the opportunities they once had. Some because of declining health, disabilities, or even because of circumstances in their everyday life that no longer provide them the opportunities they once had. The fact of the matter is we all have opportunities in our life every day, but will we take advantage of them?