This morning, Mister Bear (my cat) was sitting regally by the back door, gazing out the window at his ditch – his kingdom. When he realized I was watching him, he said it, “Ooooooooouuuuut.” Obediently, I went to the door and opened it for my feline master. Every one of you who is owned by your cat knows what happened next.
Nothing. Well … very little.
Mister Bear inched forward, pushed his nose toward the external environment, wiggled his whiskers, and sniffed. We remained in that pose, me holding the door open, Mister Bear sniffing, for what seemed to be a very long time, but what was, in reality, about 10 to 12 seconds. When my patience reached its end, I abruptly shut the door in his face and informed him that I had no interest whatsoever in playing his game. Incensed at my refusal to hold the door for him, Mister Bear yelled at me, gave me “the look” and then crawled underneath the high-leg recliner to pout for the next hour.
Opportunity missed – two of the saddest words in the English language.
If I close my eyes and lay my head back, I can count hundreds of opportunities that have flown by me unapprehended. Job opportunities. Friendship opportunities. Time with my children opportunities. Time with my parents opportunities. Educational opportunities.
Some of these missed opportunities were terribly costly. Others less so. Some of them will appear again (I will open the door for Mister Bear this afternoon), while others are gone forever. I will never again have the chance to spend time with my parents this side of the grave.
“For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’
Behold, now is the time of God’s favor; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Do not miss the impact of those words – NOW is the time of God’s favor. NOW is the day of salvation.
If we could but grasp the magnitude of the gift that lies before us, it is inconceivable that any one of us would allow the salvation opportunity to pass us by. As I ponder over this, I struggle to think of gifts people could offer that we would snatch up in a matter of seconds – 75′ yachts, Elvis Presley’s mansion, Rolls Royce … stuff … stuff to which we foolishly assign great value. As I consider these various items, I pass over every one of the because none can adequately illustrate the tragety of passing by the gift of God’s salvation – a gift of inestimable value – immortality, eternal life with God himself! To exist for an eternity in an environment of love and light and glory. Health, energy, joy unspeakable. And we have the blind audacity to say, “No” to that. Are you kidding me?
What fools we are to spit in the face of one who is freely handing us the keys to the kingdom.
Years ago I was studying the Bible with a young man who was not a believer, but who had enough spiritual awareness to know that there was something real, something true beyond his own existence. He was living with his girlfriend, a very sweet young woman. During one of our afternoons together, he mentioned that one day he and his girlfriend would get married. There was no doubt in his mind about that. It would definitely happen.
I asked him, “If it is going to happen with absolute certainty, why are you not doing it now? What’s the wait all about?” He indicated that in some way they were not yet ready.
“Oh, so it is not a sure thing then, right?”
“Oh, no. It is for sure going to happen,” he said. “We’re just not ready right now.”
“I see … so what will happen, what will change between right now, and the time that you’re ‘ready?’ What will be different?”
He couldn’t come up with an answer.
See, it wasn’t a sure thing. Though he proclaimed earnestly that it was a done deal, it really wasn’t. He was not certain enough of it to make a commitment right then and there. Fortunately, they did get married, they both became Christ-followers, and that young man is a full-time pastor now. That story has a happy ending. Such is not always the case.
“Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1 – NASB)
Do not say, “Yeah, someday I’m going to make that move. Someday I’ll be a Christ-follower.” Really? You’re quite sure of that? What changes between this day and someday? How will you be more ready on someday than you are on this day? There is no such thing as someday. All we have is this day, and this is the day of God’s favor. This is the day of salvation. Make this the day that you embrace the most astonishing gift you could ever imagine in your wildest dreams.
Victoriously in Christ!
Over to you: What do you believe blinds our eyes and causes us to embrace the emptiness of this world over the abundance of life in Christ?