A.W. Tozer, in his book, We Travel an Appointed Way, discussed the value of opportunities coming our way. He pointed to the reality that God has given us a wealth of opportunities. He defined opportunity as a providential circumstance which permits us to turn our time, money and our talents to account. Of all gifts this is the most common and it is the one which makes the other gifts (time, talent and money) of value to us and mankind. A wise person will watch for opportunities to do good by making the most of his time, using and improving his talent and spending his money wisely.
Tozer said that the enemy of opportunity is preoccupation. Just when God sends along a chance to make others happy, some of us are too busy to notice it. Or we notice it when it is too late. A neighbour got sick and it would be nice to pay a visit. But tending the garden was so inviting that we procrastinated. The next thing we heard, our neighbour already died. We missed our chance. We saw a former acquaintance in the supermarket, but instead of greeting the person, we looked the other way. That could have been a time of renewing ties but we let go of the opportunity. Lost opportunity may not happen again.
There are instances where we are given a chance to face a challenging job, but we become fearful. And when the opportunity is handed down to another, we feel defeated.
Most unfortunate is the fact that many of our youth are wasting golden opportunities for self-advancement. Parents toil for their education, but they are pre-occupied with their own leisurely concerns; hardly studying, hardly thinking about their future. Yet most parents are at fault too. They tend to prioritize their career and missed the opportunity of seeing their children grow under their care. A fat bank account or a room full of appliances will not bring back the younger years of children where a parent’s hands-on care is most needed.
Tozer warned that to allow time or money or talents to go to waste is to do something harmful to ourselves. We may not realize it, but when we let good opportunities slip way, we are actually injuring ourselves where it hurts the most.