Articles by Stan Dean

Bowls of Opportunity

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One thing that I have learned as a Christian is that I am exposed to a lot of good food. It seems that Christians “meet and eat” and “eat and meet” for about any occasion that comes along. Now, don’t get me wrong- - I enjoy it! The problem is trying to not “enjoy” it too much. And believe me, that is a problem because I am a bit like the little boy who loved banana pudding. He went to a potluck and spotted five big bowls of that delicious dessert. Instead of praying for restraint, he prayed: “Lord, please let my abilities match my opportunities!”

Seriously, there are “bowls” of opportunity around us every day. And no, I am not talking about eating- - I am talking about opportunities to serve the Lord by serving others. Many of you are familiar with the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 25 concerning the day on which we will stand before Him in judgment. He taught that by either neglecting or caring for those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, strangers, sick or in prison (every day opportunities) we will be condemned or rewarded. That being the case, perhaps we need to borrow the little boy’s prayer that our “abilities will match our opportunities.”

Another facet of this is taking advantage of the opportunities as they arise. If you are like me, there have been times when you thought to yourself, “You know I should have said this,” or “I wish I had done that,” but by then it was too late. Windows of opportunity are often open only temporarily and if we fail to take advantage while they are open, we may never have the chance again. As the old proverb states, “There are three things that cannot be recalled: a spent arrow, a spoken word and a lost opportunity.”

Finally, it is not our duty to be selective of those we serve. Paul wrote: “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). Thus, may we resolve to take advantage of our bowls of opportunity to do whatever we can- - for as many as we can - - for as long as we can while we sojourn here on earth.

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