Making the Most of a Missed Opportunity
“I’m most proud of the blessings that God has bestowed upon me, in my life. He’s given me the vision to truly see that you can fall down, but you can still get back up. Hopefully I’ll learn from my mistakes and have the opportunity to strengthen and improve the next thing I do.”- Martin Lawrence
I hate thinking about all the opportunities I have missed to experience cool events or meet interesting people. Most of the time they are for reasons out of my control, but there are several times where it was my decision to either stay home or choose an activity that seemed better at the time, until I see pictures of the other event.
We can always reflect on missed opportunities and beat ourselves up over them. There are always going to be job offers we decline, spur of the moment trips, or even dinners we choose to avoid that could be an opportunity to grow, learn, or meet new people. My biggest fear is choosing to not go to a dinner and then I’ll find out that everyone who attended received a free car from Oprah.
So, what do we do when discover we missed an opportunity? We learn from it.
I’m bringing this to my ministry experience now. When I first started in ministry I had a large amount of timidity. I could be funny and goofy, but I was limited on the ability to truly minister to kids. There was a young man who I had the opportunity to work with and he and I became close.
He started hanging out with a group of kids that I knew was a bad crew, but I never came out and said anything. I didn’t want to risk pushing him away or losing a relationship that I worked so hard to build. I wasn’t willing to speak truth due to fear of ruining a friendship. The young man ended up being kicked out of school and sent away to a relative for a couple years.
I beat myself up over it for a long time. I was frustrated that I didn’t say anything or challenge him to move beyond his friendships to pursue Christ deeper because I didn’t want to be “that Christian” who is pushing people to think about the things in their life causing them to miss out on life in Christ.
I felt like I failed. In reality, I found out that I did fail, but I can’t do anything about that now. It’s in the past. The missed opportunity is gone and I had to learn from it. Which, I have.
I have learned now that I need to make the most out of every opportunity to speak into the lives of students or adults. I need to challenge them to think about how they’re living and whether or not it is healthy. I need to encourage them to live their life for the glory of Christ and not themselves. I cannot hold back. I won’t miss that opportunity again.
Now, I need to bring the focus back to you. What opportunities have you missed? Was it an opportunity to ask a special person on a date? Was it a job offer? Was it a mission trip? Was it a chance to reconcile a relationship with someone? We all have something we have missed out on.
What are you going to do about it?
I missed the opportunity to help the young man I worked with. However, by me missing my opportunity, I might have made him miss an opportunity as well: to make a healthy decision, to grow as an individual, to move out of his comfort zone, and to possibly experience Christ. I can’t allow that to consume my thoughts, but I need it to be in my thought as new opportunities arise.
May we be aware of Christ’s work around us. May we see the opportunities He is placing before us. May we be willing to trust His lead and take action with the occasion arises.
Peace and blessings friends!
QUESTION: What opportunities have you missed that directly influence your decision-making now?