When I was growing up, my folks would jokingly say, “opportunities missed/lost may never be regained”. I think this might be true of most things in life…if we don’t factor in the “anointing”.
This verse jumps at me, “The lazy man does not catch and roast his prey, but the precious possession of a [wise] man is diligence [because he recognizes opportunities and seizes them].” PROVERBS 12:27 AMP
But my initial thought is how do I recognise an opportunity? And when there are multiple mutually exclusive opportunities ( e.g. two promising guys proposing marriage, two fantastic job offers….), which one do I seize?
The first thing I do is: go back to God. Well, some might say, that is too spiritual. Rightly so, however I have come to realise I function exceptionally well when I have settled things, first, in the spirit. After all His words are, “the hearing ear and the seeing eye, the [omnipotent] LORD has made both of them.” (Proverbs 20:12 AMP). It is a simple prayer, “Lord, I need a seeing eye to see the opportunities around me. I need a hearing ear to hear when people talk about opportunities”.
I recall a story I read from a book of a shoe salesman who was sent to a community where everyone was bare footed! The salesman called the sales manager and said, “No one wears shoes here, so I am coming home”. The same sales manager sent another salesman to the same community, and on getting there, he called the manager and said, “Please get into touch with the factory ASAP and place orders for thousands of shoes. There are lots of potentials here!” What did the first salesman fail to see?
Secondly, I ask for a discerning heart. Not all opportunities should be seized! “There is a way that seemed right but the end of it destruction…” On the surface, the self led option might look more attractive but might not the better of the 2 at the long run. In a case of 2 mutually exclusive job opportunities, I need to be able to discern the place where I would be most valuable for God’s Kingdom.
1 Kings 3:9, “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong…….”
Thirdly, I thank God for answered prayers and wait expectantly for His voice which could come as an impression in my heart, or as a word in flash, or in a dream, or in a multitude of godly counsel, or divine wisdom to choose. And I continue to confess this promise in Psalm 32:8, ‘The Lord says, “He will guide me along the best pathway for my life. He will advise me and watch over me”’.