The following is the second letter in an series of “open letters” to my children. They represent the lessons I’ve learned in life that are most dear to my heart and are inspired by the last words my father wrote to me before he died. To start with Letter #1…CLICK HERE!
My father passed away unexpectedly in 2008. He was not a wealthy man and as a result, the possessions he left behind didn’t consist of much. I inherited a small life insurance policy (which barely covered his burial expenses), a coin collection, and a few other small items around his house that I decided to keep as reminders of him. However, none of those things meant more to me than the words he wrote on the back of his life insurance policy file. It was only a short paragraph that he wrote to my sister and me, but it meant so much more because at that moment I was never able to speak to my father again. I would never hear his voice again. But those words gave me the ability to hear his voice one last time. They essentially became the last words my father ever spoke to me.
For those of you who know me personally, or follow me on Facebook, you probably know that I took up Crossfit about a year ago. Now, I’m not writing this post to tell you about how much I enjoy Crossfit and the great things it has done for me. I’m writing because I am consistently being reminded in the gym of some powerful life lessons that I believe are worth sharing.
The following is a true story that has stuck with me ever since the first time I heard it and seems to be one that the Holy Spirit continually reminds me of in my personal walk of faith. This is my best recollection of the story as it was told to me by a friend of mine who is a youth pastor. I have changed the names for privacy purposes.
WHEN OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS
Most men would agree that great opportunities are a rare thing. They have the perception that when opportunity knocks we had better answer. We had better respond. We better be ready. They believe it could be “the opportunity of a lifetime”. And while I do believe there is value in a continual preparing of our hearts and minds and life so that we can be better prepared to take advantages of opportunities, I would like to present to you what I have learned about opportunities.
When opportunity presents itself and the predominant underlying reason why we feel we need to take advantage of this opportunity is because it “may never happen again” or it is the “opportunity of a lifetime”, we are probably making a bad decision. This type of reasoning is fear based. We are Gods children and we do not make decisions based on fear. We should have no fear. However, the more important thing I have learned is that opportunities work in quite the opposite way. If we are living according to His word we will not have fewer opportunities as life progresses but we will have more. Life will present us with more and greater opportunities as we grow mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and even financially. I have seen this true in business especially. As I have become more successful I now have the vision to see endless opportunities in front of me. Many of these opportunities were always in front of me but I did not have the mental capacity to see them. However, many are only now presenting themselves to me because I have more resources and credibility. The predicament I now find myself in is deciding which ones to pursue.
Here is the point…You will have more opportunities tomorrow then you will have today, not less. They will be greater in size and impact than the ones you are presented with today. I have heard it said that “Opportunity doesn’t knock twice” and I would say this is true. In fact, it knocks endlessly. And the doors it is knocking on today are smaller than the ones it knocks on tomorrow. The rooms those doors will open to today will be filled with less riches than the ones that tomorrows doors will open to. To think that we will have less in quantity or quality of anything tomorrow, with the exception of time on earth, than we do today, is a lie. It is a lack based mindset rather than abundance based. It is rooted in fear and a lie from the enemy. Now I am obviously not saying that certain opportunities aren’t from God and shouldn’t be taken advantage of. I am saying we should choose wisely and never make those choices based on fear or lack. There should be a direct correlation in the amount of time we spend in considering an opportunity and the time-commitment that the particular opportunity will require of us. Time is our most precious resource. I will close with a quote/thought that I picked up many years ago and has stuck with me ever since. Unfortunately I don’t remember who said it but it pretty much sums it all up.
“OPPORTUNITY DOES NOT EQUAL OBLIGATION”