One thing that Christians quickly learn is that we are 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. 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 where we should engage ourselves. 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 neglecting or caring for those who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, etc. (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 goes, “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). Consider the Samaritan man Jesus spoke of that helped a robbed and beaten Jewish man (Luke 10:30-37). This happened in spite of the Samaritans and Jews had no dealings with one another (John 4:9). But this man was willing to step across the social boundaries and take the opportunity to show exemplary kindness to his fellowman. Otherwise, you and I would have never heard of “The Good Samaritan.”
Thus, may we resolve to take advantage of every opportunity to do whatever we can- - for as many as we can - - for as long as we can while we sojourn here on earth.