"So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10
We are all faced with innumerable opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. Anonymous
To anyone who found bags of cash alongside a metro Atlanta interstate highway: Authorities would like to have them back. According to police, the door of an armored car transporting hundreds of thousands of dollars flew open while it drove on I-285 in Dunwoody, Ga., July 9 this summer. About $175,000 in currency flew from the back of the truck and fluttered onto the shoulder. Motorists in the Atlanta suburb quickly began pulling over and scooping up cash. Authorities were only able to recover about $200 from the ground. Nearly $2,600 of cash was turned into the Dunwoody Police Department. A police spokesman said that motorists who picked up cash could turn it in at the police station without fear of charges. **
Haven't you wondered what your reaction would be in a similar situation? Free cash floating all around me, what do I do? Or is it free? As I pondered my own hypothetical response, I realized that more than likely, opportunities large and small float around me most days. Like floating cash, they just appear, and I choose whether to pass them by, reject the reality that a "gift" is at hand, or stop to clutch an unexpected opportunity. May you and I be alert enough to recognize a "gift horse" when it gallops by. Christ-followers will experience several opportunities each day to grasp what God the Spirit brings along. Living self-centered is guaranteed to help us miss the opportunities coming our way. Some likely sorts of opportunities:
She seems angry, or upset. Maybe I can ask if I can help, or pray.
He looks confused, bewildered; some gentle encouragement from me might go a long way.
I sense a chance to give: time, energy, my own abilities, cash, or just a look or touch that
says, "you can make it" -- and many more.
Random acts of kindness are not random for you and me -- they're our way of life. We load our "pockets" each morning with love, forgiveness, gifts and helps, and come to work eager to share them with "opportunities" fluttering by.
The book Irresistible Evangelism includes the story of Jan, a staffer with Athletes in Action. After attending a conference where the importance of listening to unsaved people was stressed, Jan and others were relaxing in the hotel whirlpool. Two adolescent girls joined them in the tub. One of the teens, named Brittany, began passionately telling her friend about an upcoming Wiccan gathering she was planning to attend. Jan said:
Normally we would have tried to counter the girl's ideas, but we decided to listen instead. I said something simple like, "Wow, you really sound excited about this!" This was all the encouragement she needed to launch into a five-minute explanation of why she was so attracted to neo-pagan rituals. The bottom line was that she'd had a really traumatic time in high school and the Wiccas accepted her.
She said, "I've gone through so much crap just trying to make it through high school that I'll probably be in therapy for the rest of my life!"
I tried to mirror back what she said with, "It's hard for you to even imagine a future where you'd be free from all of the pain you've gone through."
What came next completely floored me. With a film of tears starting to form in her eyes and with complete sincerity in her voice, she said, "Sometimes I wish I could be born all over again. I'd really like to start over from scratch." After a long pause, my friend asked if she would really like to be born again. "Yes, I really would," she said. Talk about an evangelism opportunity....
May you and I "cash in" on the grace and mercy opportunities popping up in our daily routines. Keeping my antennae up, Perry Floyd
** WORLD Magazine, August 17, 2019, page 15