Hello everyone! I sure hope you’ve made some effort towards living more intentionally following last week’s post. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but let me say it again – writing to you each week gives me so much joy! It’s honestly one of the highlights of each week for me. Thank you for being a fantastic audience. Seeing the number of views and visitors grow each week and reading your comments is truly humbling and encouraging.

I’m considering adding another expression to Growing Together. I’m not ready to spill the beans yet but our new family member would be aimed at providing our audience with some nuggets “on-the-go”! Don’t worry, it’s still in the works but once we’re ready, you’ll be the first to know for sure.

This week, we talk about opportunity. I had played with a few titles in my head, looking for an appropriate title. After much thinking, I decided to keep it simple and just call it what it is – “opportunity”. So, with no long stories and fancy titles, let’s dive straight in. Honestly, this isn’t one of the planned posts, it literally popped into my head after a couple of events, and I thought to just go with the flow and discuss it.

Yes, “opportunity” is a familiar word but as you already know, I like to define the concepts so we are clear about its meaning and can discuss free of ambiguity or assumptions. I’ve merged two definitions I came across to define it as; “a favorable occasion or situation that makes it possible to do something that you want to do or achieve a goal”.

With this definition in mind, the truth is that we are faced with numerous situations each day, so, how do we discern which occasions and situations would be favorable and which wouldn’t? In trying to answer this, I came across a few quotes that struck me and a few scenarios from the Bible I would refer to; so, stay with me as we discuss this.

The quote “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” is popular and used fairly frequently. However, in reviewing this, certain words stuck out to me – “most people” (implying not everyone); “dressed in overalls” (implying relatively unattractive) and “looks like work” (implying appearance and requiring effort). I love the elements this quote brings up, so I’ll be using it as the central point for our discussion.

Next, let’s look at a scenario.

From the insights we gleaned from the quote, we can ask ourselves, “what enables ‘some’ people identify opportunities whereas others don’t”? If we are all in need of favorable occasions that enable us to achieve our goals, how is it possible to miss them?

Let’s see a scenario: In John 4:1-42; Jesus has an interesting conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. Let’s call her Samee for the purpose of this story. Now, we know from the passage that Samee was hesitant to give Jesus water because of the long-existing difference between Jews and Samaritans. (P.S. Lady Samee, it’s just water and you’re smack in front of a well, how hard can it be?) Anyway, as their conversation goes on, Samee realizes that this fellow is different from other guys whom she had experienced in her life and from other Jews; so, she decides to toss out her existing bias and pay closer attention.

What’s the result? She has a Jesus-experience; can you beat that! She’s a Samaritan woman, who had a history with men, whose ancestors had worshipped on a different mountain from the Jews and who knew the Christ was coming. Despite these realities, in this one favorable moment and in the most mundane place (by a well); she experienced the Christ, conversed with him, met the disciples, became an evangelist and boom, got recorded in Scriptures. What a transformation – in one fell swoop! I reckon she didn’t head out thinking she would experience the prophesied Christ; but when she realized it was Him, this lady wasn’t going to let Him go, without getting the “living water” He had to offer. When the matter of her husband attempted to hinder her receiving it, she was humble and forthright to admit her imperfections.

Let’s look at another opportunity maximiser – Jacob! This guy experienced his own fair share of challenges and at this point had divided his family and possessions into troops as he prepared to meet his estranged brother who had previously promised to do him harm after swindling him of his birthright. Against this background, Jacob wrestled a man until the man dislocated his joint and then pled to be let go. Despite the discomfort he must have felt, Jacob still demanded for a blessing. Jacob didn’t even know who this fellow was, as the Bible records him realizing after he had received the blessing of a changed name. Jacob wasn’t leaving any stone unturned ever!

Now, compare Lady Samee (the Samaritan) and Jacob against the Pharisees who were teachers of the Bible. They knew the law and by implication, knew the prophecies and indicators of the Christ that was to come, yet when he was right in front of them, they didn’t recognize, believe or even allow him express the gifts and calling without questioning and persecuting Him at every turn. I mean if anyone should have recognised Him as the Messiah; it should have been them.

So, what differentiated Lady Samee and Jacob from the Pharisees?

You see, despite Samee’s past and biases, I think she had a curious mind and a courageous spirit. Same as Jacob, he was curious to ask for the name of his wrestler even after the intense duel. It takes some level of curiosity and courage to engage with someone who you know is different from you without any assurances.  You may not be able to predict and pre-plan every engagement, so keep curiosity and courage as your faithful companions.

Again, Jacob and Samee were hungry and humble. Hunger here implies their craving for change and betterment. While they were both tired of the status-quo, they were also humble and quick to let go of any possible impediments to them receiving the change they desired. For Samee, it was her marital status and for Jacob, it was his name. Sometimes, opportunities may require you to make changes to your habits, perspective, and disposition; and this is often where the “work” is. Don’t let this deter you, it’ll be worth it.

Lady Samee was open-minded and filled with faith. Yes, she had been taught and knew the Christ would come but once she engaged, sensed the uniqueness about Jesus; and had Him state who He was; Samee was willing to take him at His word. Same as Jacob, he didn’t deliberate the changing of his name and the blessing declared on him, he just took the word and ran with it. You see, sometimes on your journey, you may not be able to control all the nuances, but you would have to trust God. You must go on the great big adventure with Him. Call it faith or whatever you may, but you must be willing to go on new adventures even when they differ from your natural inclinations, beliefs and even skill set.

Samee and Jacob were doers – she went to town; and he renamed the place! You see, with opportunities, there is often some work required to set things in motion which is why the quote describes it as looking like work; but they both didn’t mind. The transformation and results are produced in the doing – so go to town!

In conclusion, we can see that with both Jacob and Samee their opportunities met them where they were. For someone out there, stop waiting for that favorable occasion or situation; it is here and now but you must pay attention to recognize it! In the words of Napoleon Hill, “your big opportunity may be right where you are now” and if it’s not; then in the words of George Bernard Shaw, “stop waiting, create it!”

Never forget,

Share Post :

4 Responses

  1. Opportunity often meets with preparation. There has to be an expectation for opportunity to ride on. The expectations in our hearts will always draw us to opportunities round about us. But if we don’t have expectations, we are most likely to miss the opportunities knocking at our door. Good one there Amaka! More Grace and Revealations in Jesus Christ name 🙏.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *