"The opportunity of a lifetime needs to be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity." - Leonard Ravenhill
I've heard it said that second place is just the first loser! Funny, right?! I personally like the quote, and use it often. Mostly, in defense of my third place finish during a family game night! I wonder though, if there is a tinge of truth in this statement that causes us to pause before we try anything. Should I even attempt this if I know it probably won't turn out the way I imagine?
I know myself. I know that I am a dreamer and self-proclaimed visionary. It is in my nature to keep trying new things and pursuing new ideas. But over the past few years I have slowed down a lot in this area. I have played it safe you may say. I try to do only what I know will be successful. If I, the never scared to fail person, starts perceiving life in such a way, how many others do the same thing? When did "Plan B" start becoming our "Plan A?"
I like to look to the Bible for answers to these all-important life questions that I tend to have. (If the Bible is really the answer to all our problems, and that isn't a cliche statement, then we should probably stick our noses in it a bit more often! Just a thought.) Let's look for a moment at a Sunday school story, called David and Goliath! Sit up, lean in, and let's relive one of the greatest moments in the history of this earth!
In 1 Samuel 17 we learn that the Philistines and Israelites have lined up for battle. Before the war began, a giant Philistine by the name Goliath, marches out to the battle line and issues a challenge to the Israelites. "Choose one man from among you to fight me. If he wins, we will serve you. If I win, you will serve us." There seems to be a sanity in this statement that could save a lot of blood shed on both sides. The problem is, no one wants to fight him. So for forty days, a stalemate ensues.
Insert David. A simple, ruggedly handsome teenager tending his fathers flock of sheep. He was not looking for a fight. In fact, I would guess that he's not even aware of what is going on. That is why his father Jesse, asks him to check on his brothers. Sometimes I wander if our purpose in life is to go about looking for a fight? We argue about everything, and can't seem to get along with anyone. Shouldn't we, if at all possible, try to live at peace with everyone? When did that scripture disappear? Needless to say, David was not looking for a fight, and he was certainly not looking to be king. We should take note that he was not looking to be anything more than a sheep following the Shepherd. If the valley is not enough for you, then the platform will not be either.
David shows up to the battlefield, sees what is going on and offers to fight this giant. Everyone was a bit shocked, and his brothers were even a bit jealous and angry. I think though, that David was more shocked that out of the thousands in the army, not one had already volunteered for the task! Here is the point of this story that I want to bring out: David was not the first to see the opportunity, but he was the first to seize the opportunity!
You can in life, see the giants in your way as an enemy and a problem, or you can choose to see them as an opportunity. I know that I pass up on opportunities because I only see a giant. Fear and unbelief is much more dangerous to your dream than any giant! And the person who refuses to move until the fear is gone, will never move.
We were not made to be perfect. Failure is a part of life. We were made to trust in the One who made us. Trusting that His design is right, and His plan is good. God is not so interested in perfection; He's far more interested in direction. So what happens if David failed? I believe he had the same mindset as the three Hebrew children heading into the fire, "even if He does not come through, I will still not bow! Even if God doesn't deliver me, He is still good!" Can you say that in your life? Even if this fails, even if life doesn't seem to go according to plan, I am still a success because of who HE is in my life!
And if you can, then seize that opportunity that's in front of you!