THE GIFT OF OPPORTUNITY
A PURPOSE TO START THE NEW YEAR 2018
© Carlos Padilla, January 2018
On the 20th of July 1969 Neil Armstrong placed his
foot the surface of the moon before the eyes of millions of people in
television, and left the famous sentence: “This is a small step for man, but a
great jump for humanity”. We could say that Armstrong had the gift of
opportunity, not only for being one of the 12 men who have walked on the moon in
Apollo missions, but for being the first of all. But really it was his colleague
Buzz Aldrin who was the most opportune of both, even though he was second, but
we will deal with this afterwards. Neither would the Apollo space ship be the
more remembered, but the Space Shuttle (picture-Atlantis) which have made the
International Space Station possible, amongst other purposes. But the gift of
opportunity consist, not only in knowing how to take advantage of the
opportunities that God grants us in life, but in being opportune in daily life.
The Magi from the east where opportune when they followed the star that guided
them to Bethlehem, and opportunely adored the Son of God. They followed the
sign from heaven, an opportunity. Likewise, the shepherd that guarded the vigils
of the night opportunely went to see the Child Jesus and worshiped Him following
the opportunity given by the angels of God. Do we follow the opportunities that
God grants us in life, in our relationship with Him and in daily life? Are we
opportune in our relationship with others searching and listening to the guide
of God? When someone hears the Gospel, is having the opportunity of being saved;
to receive it is at hand. If you think it is important to be opportune and the
gift of opportunity by the hand of God.
To be opportune is a great gift, no doubt on that which God
dominates, as it is Him who rules it. Many think it is all down to luck and that
nothing can be done, while others make all kind of psychosocial studies to try
to dominate the situation. One way or another, to be opportune can be a
blessing, and to be inopportune a curse. Are we opportune and do we know how to
dominate situations, both the unexpected as those we await for? King Solomon was
opportune in his famous “Solomon judgment” when He judged between the two
mothers and two babies, one dead and one alive, which both clamed as theirs,
ordering that it would be cut in half and each part given to each of them, 1
Although the Bible does not tell of a gift of opportunity as
such, it does tell about opportunity as something that God grants us if we seek
in Him the guide of our lives. God gives us gifts and provides opportunities; it
depends on us that we take advantage of them. The key is to recognize that we
need to receive the blessing of being opportune and to take advantage of His
opportunities as soon as possible, because the gift of opportunity may change
In our lives we will find situations where we must try to be
opportune, but there will be others where everything will come so fast that it
will be impossible to control how and when to be opportune, or what to do and
not to do, say, etc. It is in these situations in where we will depend more on
the circumstances, but if our relationship with God is good and personal, we
must pray that He will keep us and guide us in these situations, if we want Him
to guide our lives.
In both cases a Christian must pray for God to help him in
Christ to be opportune, through the inner guide of the Holy Spirit Who abides
inside the Christian. Important situations in life, like what to study, what to
work on, who to marry, how to deal with your kids, etc., are so relevant that
must be part of our permanent prayers. During my life I have experienced when I
have not been opportune, the consequences and what it costs to amend the
situation, and sometimes you cannot. I´m sure this sounds familiar. When good
deeds are made, the gift or opportunity must shine, because we may think that we
do good to someone by giving money and it may use it for bad, for alcohol or
drugs. It may be better to give food, or to send to a church or help centre, or
to dedicate time to talk. Prayer in these cases, again, is important. One must
evaluate all situations. To choose the profession or carrier or work that is
opportune, changes people’s lives, like it does to marry the right person. To
educate your children right bears fruit. And so on, a long etc., of matters that
must be spoken with our Master, the Wise our Father who loves us and provides us
of His Word, the Bible, as well as prayer and His daily intervention.
Many will find themselves reflected in these examples: When
to ask her to marry and how to do it; how to leave certain “friends”; how to do
it; how to leave a church and how to inform it; how to title a book and when to
publish it; to change city and life, if God provides the circumstances, and how
to recognize them from His hand; when to sign a business contract, or of work,
or how to say no; or how to be one of the astronauts who went to the moon. The
story of Neil Armstrong as the first man on the moon was indeed opportune for
him, and an opportunity or occasion that God gave him and that he took advantage
of. What many do not know is that, even though Armstrong was the first to step
on the moon, his colleague Buzz Aldrin was the first man to take Communion, Holy
Supper on the moon, and act that NASA took long to recognize, and that is in the
book of Aldrin “Magnificent Desolation”. There were 12 men who stepped on the
moon in the Apollo missions, from 11 to 17 with exception of 13 that was obliged
to turn around and abort landing due to the detachment of a panel. No dough the
more opportune of all was Aldrin, who knew how to take advantage of this unique
occasion to glorify God, to read the words of Jesus on the moon, and to remember
His death and resurrection. The 12 astronauts had a great opportunity, but Adrin
was the opportune for God and the Church.
We read of the example of Buzz Aldrin, how to take advantage
of a unique opportunity and be opportune at the same time. Opportunity requires
denying one’s self in many occasions, as the situation in common with our
neighbour usually has different interests in pro of a relationship of peace and
love amongst our loved ones, of peace and friendship amongst others. Many take
advantage of every opportunity in their own benefit, not thinking on the others,
and at first sight it seems that it goes well for them for years, but there are
too many stories of people who end up on their own and loose it all, and
everyone, including God.
Another important component of the gift of opportunity is to
have a life plan with the guide of God. Without God one lives searching for a
personal plan made by ourselves, that may or not develop, but may change with
the years. But if one lives having “sat down” with God regularly, until one has
a plan for living, one may know how to behave, what and when to expect, and what
to reject. This last thing is one of the battle fields of our lives. But also,
sometimes, when one knows that he must do something in particular, and for
taking longer than one would like, begins to consider other options, there we
must persevere in life; of course, when through faith, one has the evidence of
things not seen, in the sense of what to expect, because the Spirit confirms it.
Many ask how to know certain things. The only answer that I know, I also read it
these days from evangelist Billy Graham in his 99th birthday in which
he encouraged everyone to everyday read the Bible and pray: “Go to your knees
and pray until you and God have become intimate friends”.
We are called to take advantage of the opportunities that God
gives us. This may be your opportunity to know Jesus Christ, Yahshua, or to
recognize that you need His help to be opportune and to have the courage and
determination to take advantage of the opportunities that God gives you in life.
But hold, one must pray to differentiate the opportunities that God gives and
those lies of the devil, who may try to deceive us in specific situations, like
when Jesus was in the desert initiating His ministry and he offered Him all the
kingdoms of the world if He would adore him, Matthew 4. Jesus replied with
determination rejecting him firmly and continuing His purpose for our salvation,
because He loves us.
Every fulfilled prophecy it is for being opportune, in the
designated moment and the way it was foretold.
How opportune was Noah when he obeyed and built the arch.
Humanity had another chance to know God! Genesis.
How opportune was Moses when he returned to Egypt and took
out Israel so the legacy that would bring Jesus, the Messiah to earth as the
Saviour of all nations, could be fulfilled! Exodus.
How opportune was David when he persevered until he conquered
Jerusalem and raised the kingdom that would bring the Messiah! Books of Samuel.
How opportune was Peter when he started the evangelization of
the Jews. Book of Acts.
How opportune was the apostle Paul when he started the
evangelization of the Gentile nations! Book of Acts.
How opportune was John the evangelist when he believed and
wrote the Revelation that God gave him for the Church until the end of time!
Book of Revelation.
How opportune will Jesus Christ be when He returns the day
and the time that only He knows, to take His Church and establish the Kingdom of
God! 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. All these are fulfilled prophecies foretold in the
Bible in advance.
Yahshua, Jesus Christ, therefore is the most opportune person
of history. Born, lived, died, raised, ascended and will return in the opportune
instant designated by Himself; it could not be in any other way. Jesus Christ
will fulfil those prophecies pending fulfilment: Revelations 1:7 opportunely.
WITH COMMENTARY ABOUT THE GIFT OF OPPORTUNITY AND CHANCE
returned and saw under the sun that: The race is not to the swift, nor the
battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding,
nor favour to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.”
Magnificent Text of
wisdom in which we find how we all have a chance and an opportunity to search
for the guide of God in life, because everyone may opt to live by the hand of
God for blessing, or live by their own criteria and then find themselves alone,
before their own decisions and consequences. How opportune one is when one seeks
governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the
kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful;
nor was there any error or fault found in him.” Daniel 6:4.
An example of a person of integrity before God, and how God,
knowing that in this world, the enemy seeks us to confront us, God fights for
us, and even though sometimes it seems that we are losing the battle, at the end
we see how the victory is of God and of those who love Him; case of Daniel.
“And when they
heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought
how he might conveniently betray Him.” Marcos 14:11.
This is a clear example of how the devil and his servants
look for the opportunity to do evil. Judas betrayed the Lord delivering Him.
“Now as he
reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was
afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call
for you.” Acts 24:25.
In this Text we find how governor Felix, having seen the
truth of the Gospel clearly, having had the opportunity of his life to be saved,
excuses himself and hides in another chance of a convenient time, another
opportunity when he would call Paul. The truth is that when one sees the truth
clearly it is a spiritual hecatomb in the inside that may produce an immediate
reaction, or the need to “digest” it for some days, because one must repent and
be opportune, taking the correct decision in that opportunity.
we have opportunity, let us do well to all, especially to those who are of the
household of faith.” Galatians 6:10.
When God grants us the opportunity to do well to our
brothers, let us do so, and to all, praying when we have doubts about how, or if
the way that a priori is evident is the correct way thinking of the consequences
of what will are about to do. We should prefer discretion and anonymity, when
concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should
write to you. For you know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a
thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden
destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they
shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day
should overtake you as a thief.” 1
This is a Text that unifies opportunity, chance, wisdom,
knowledge of prophecy to come, and even though warns us Christians who await for
the coming of the Lord.
This New Year 2018 may be the beginning of the gift of
opportunity for daily life. How good is to be opportune with our loved ones!
Between marriages, to wait and act with love, with the children when and how is
needed, with fiends in the opportune moment, with those who need help, the way
it is opportune. How good is to seek the help of our God, Who is always ready,
in Christ, to guide us through His Spirit in all that we place in His hands!
How many discussions would be avoided if one was opportune
and had self control. Surely many have the gift of opportunity and use it for
evil, to heart, it would look as the evil ones are shrewder and provoke wars,
conflicts, divorces, destruction. We are not called to be opportune for evil,
but for good, for the glory of God. If truly you want to bless your life, the
life of your loved ones, of your neighbour, to be opportune for God and for your
life and take advantage of the chances and opportunities that God gives you in
life, don´t stop praying for this gift. You will see a change in your life that
you had never imagined, and it will be for the glory of God. Noah was opportune
by building the arch, like was Moses returning to Egypt, or David standing the
persecution of Saul, and so were the Magi following the star, like were Peter
and Paul evangelizing in the Great Commission, and John providing the last
prophecies of Revelation, or Adrin celebrating Holy Supper on the moon. But like
they have been, we can also be, we need to obey God. Jesus Christ denied Himself
and submitted to the Father to die on the Cross, obeying until the end,
fulfilled the prophecy, took advantage of the opportunity and the chance to save
us for eternity; is the more opportune person of history. If we know that we
have a mission of God before us we must obey God until the end. In the meantime
let us be opportune every day for God’s love and for our neighbour.
Closing prayer: Lord, I give thanks for placing in my mouth those adequate
words, for placing in my heart the adequate reaction and the brotherly treat,
the one I would like to be treated with in each circumstance, because due to
immediateness, one cannot control these situations, but You, Lord, already know
each of them. I also give thanks to you for letting me see those opportunities
that come from You, and to have the determination of taking advantage of them,
and to reject those who are not yours. This I ask for all those who, with
sincere heart come to You in equal manner and are now reading. In the name of
Jesus, Yahshua. Amen!