(Blog Post by Stan Kellner – www.stankellner.com)
Read Ephesians 5:16
As a follow up to my post last week “To Life, To Life, L’Chaim…” I want to continue mulling over the idea of being fully engaged in all that God has for us – whether it’s good, bad or ugly. (Amazing how a crazy Clint Eastwood movie title has become such an all-encompassing catch phrase. Also reminds me of the folks that say, “Watch out! It’s going to get ugly!!)
Just in case you haven’t discovered by now – life isn’t always pretty. Thankfully, it isn’t always bad or ugly either. But, remember about L’Chaim – a full measure of joy and sorrow; a life fully engaged in the midst of both successes and failures. That’s all part of the whole Megillah. (Hebrew word for “scroll” and specifically relates to the scroll of Esther; modern day meaning, similar to “the whole enchilada!”)
So, this brings me to the title of my blog post – “Buying up EVERY opportunity”. As some translations say it, “Redeeming the time…” or “Making the most of every opportunity”. I like the idea of buying maybe because I’m Jewish (Oy, such a deal I have for you!). No, but seriously, the idea of buying brings with it the idea of depleting my resources so as to gain something special. Sort of like God emptying me out for the sake of serving Him.
Making the most of every opportunity – you failed recently? Then squeeze that experience for all it’s worth; broken relationship? what could you have done different (if anything). A recent success? how did it happen? What good principles did you apply” Who’s getting the glory – you or God?
While life has certainly dealt its harsh blows at time, I’m still a hopeless optimist (but now with a twinge of pessimism firmly planted). Not a bad combo as far as I’m concerned. I still hope for the best in a situation, in people, etc. but recognize that isn’t always going to be the case.
As my mom and I talked over the years (she passed on back in 2002) she would tell me that I was always in the thick of things. I remember when my older sister had friends over, it wasn’t hard to find me standing right in the middle causing some type of trouble or cracking jokes.
I have this insatiable sense that if I close my eyes just for a minute I’m going to miss something important. (Yes, I do sleep at night and quite nicely thank you very much).
Side note – I heard a joke about one mogul talking to another. So, Abie, how do you sleep at night? Abie answered, “I sleep just like a baby. I wake up every two hours and cry!”
Okay back to the original thought. I have this sense that when I came out of the womb my first words were, “Okay, world, what did I miss?”
My point in all this?
All of us face the challenges of life to varying degrees. Some handle them better than others. However, how are any of us doing when it comes to engaging fully (that L’Chaim principle”) in the day God has given us rather than obsessing over what’s going to happen tomorrow, the next day or the next week? Yeah, I don’t like my answer either.
Key application points:
Opportunities are everywhere. Take time to notice. You don’t have to change the world for another person but how about changing their day!
We all have our pre-judgments concerning people we deal with every day. Some we like to be around, some we like to avoid. How about stepping out of your comfort zone by reaching out to someone “unlovely” and “unloveable”? Last I checked, “God so loved THE WORLD…”
Okay, I’ll say it – I know Politics and Religion are the big taboos. How about reaching across the “boundary line” and honestly engaging with those who don’t believe the way you do. Not necessarily to change their mind but maybe just to understand where they are coming from. Last I checked, we all bleed the same color.
Finally, I dare you to make it a daily prayer. “Lord, help me to have my eyes, ears and heart open today that I might encourage someone who is in need.”
I’ll never forget the line from the movie Joe vs. the Volcano, where Meg Ryan is quoting her dad –
My father says almost the whole world’s asleep. Everybody you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk to. He says only a few people are awake. And they live in a state of constant total amazement!
Are you awake? Do you live in constant total amazement regarding how many opportunities God has given each of us in our daily lives; opportunities to change someone’s day, maybe just a little. I pray so!