Missed Opportunities

by Rob Dunne

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Behave yourselves wisely [living prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity. Colossians 4:5 AMP

Two years ago, my boss was diagnosed with cancer in his spine and chest. In spite of this diagnosis, he continued to come into the office. Amazingly, there were days when he came in following chemotherapy treatment. I never heard him complain about pain or the inconvenience of it all. It was one of the most valiant battles I have witnessed.

Recently, while in my office, he looked frail for the first time. With a weak voice he asked if I could meet with some new clients. “Of course I can meet with them,” I answered. There was a pause; a moment in time that I wish I could revisit. There standing before me was an opportunity to ask the man who gave me a job (when I couldn’t find one for thirteen months) if I might pray with him. But I didn’t. Moments later he turned and walked out the door.

Shortly after this encounter, the cancer spread to his brain. “It’s not over till it’s over!” I proclaimed to the rest of the office. In desperation, I asked for an opportunity to visit him in the hospital. I just knew I had to pray with him for his healing before he died. Alternatively, I had to take a stab at introducing him to Jesus. It was not meant to be.

That moment runs through my head continuously. I ask myself, “What was I so afraid of?” He was an austere man, to say the least. It was difficult to approach him even with regard to work-related issues. Outwardly, he was a professing Jew. His behavior did not line up with his profession. I was going to pray for him in the name of Jesus. But, I was afraid.

It’s been a few weeks since his funeral. Other opportunities to pray with people have come up. I wish I could say that this life experience emboldened me and that I prayed with each one of them. It has certainly encouraged me to be more of a risk-taker. I keep telling myself that the worst thing that can happen is the person will say no. While I lose nothing, they gain the knowledge that someone cares enough to ask; that God placed someone in their path because He loves them.

This journey of faith is incredible. In spite of my shortcomings, our heavenly Father continues to cheer me on. My efforts put a huge smile on His face. He rejoices over me with singing even when I fail. He encourages me by saying, “Don’t worry. There will be plenty of other opportunities.”

As I encourage myself, I also want to encourage you. The pressure is off of us as believers. We don’t perform the miracle. God makes us conduits through which His power flows. He bears the burden if the miracle doesn’t happen. Keep your mind fixed on God and get excited as He uses you to be someone’s miracle. Don’t let fear get the best of you and you won’t live life regretting that you missed an opportunity.

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