OPPORTUNITY

by Fr. Jonathan Hemmings

 

Galatians 6:10 "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."

There are all important moments when God offers us opportunities to do something for others in our lives. Moments that will not come again. The famous English playwright William Shakespeare once wrote: -

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures." (Julius Caesar)

The American poet, James Russell Lowell, expressed a similar sentiment in his poem "The Present Crisis":

"Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide, In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side."

In Christ there is no neutrality, we are either with Him or without Him, for Him or against Him. God sends to each some great or humble cause that He has given you to do and no other person and he has given us the kairos (opportunity) and chronos (time) to do it. All the years of our life, all the days of our years all the moments of our days. We must recognise the fact that we are here to serve God and others or serve ourselves. This is the choice that God sets before us, for He will not force His Will upon us. There is a time to speak up when others are silent. There is a time to be silent when others are gossiping. There is a time to perform a deed and a time to refrain from joining in. There is a time to learn and a time to teach. There is a time to acquire some skills and a time to accept others skills with grace. (Read Ecclesiastes Chapter 3.) Life has its "opportunities," if a thing is not said or done in its own moment, the opportunity to say or to do it is lost and does not return. We should listen to the still small voice of God amidst the cacophony of the noise in the world speaking:- "Now is the time." But first we must be prepared to receive the moment! A person cannot seize an opportunity unless he or she has prepared himself to receive it before it comes.

2 Timothy 4:5 "But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

Watchfulness is to be ready to serve God at any moment when called to do so. That is why we stand upright in Church attentive, and waiting on Him.

 

Prayer for the Beginning of the Day

"O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace, help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will. In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my words and deeds, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by You. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray. And, Yourself, pray in me. Amen."

 

February 2000

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