Today I read Jesus’ parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30 . Do you remember the story? It’s where three servants are given varying degrees of “talents” or money by their master. Two of the servants invest their talents while one of them buries his. The bottom line of the story is to make the most of what God gives you. Makes sense, doesn’t it? And I think I’ve always viewed this parable as a global truth—an overarching message that you and I need to apply in life. In other words, I’ve used a telescope to look at this truth. But today I saw it through a different lens.
I’ve been reading, as some of you know from an earlier post, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. The theme of Mark’s book is about responding to the many divine opportunities God gives us. His book has influenced and shifted my focus. So when I read this passage in Matthew, I didn’t look at it from the telescopic vantage point that I’ve always had. Instead, I looked at it this time with a microscopic focus.
What I saw through the microscopic lens was a multitude of divine opportunities provided for me moment by moment throughout my day. It’s as if I have always viewed this passage as saying, whenever those big opportune moments come around, grab them with gusto and make something out of them. Sure, that’s true, but where I erred was in viewing those opportune moments as if they had to be big, obvious, and once in a lifetime opportunities in order for them to be from God. The reality is God gives us opportunities all throughout our day. My problem was in thinking that God had to send a lightening bolt my way if He was giving me a divine opportunity.
But what if instead . . . when I wake up God gives me an opportunity to pray and thank Him for my day before my feet hit the floor? What if there’s another opportunity to ask my son a question that might open up a dialogue he’s been afraid to reveal to me until now? What if there’s an opportunity to show mercy to the person who just treated me with unfairness or unkindness? What if there’s an opportunity to increase my faith by trusting God whenever I feel insecure about my interactions or when I’m afraid of failing my husband or when I’m afraid to take a stand, etc.?
Going down another layer—what if every time I seized those divine opportunities and made the most of them, I was actually gaining interest in my endeavors, in my relationships, and most importantly, in my faith? I know that you and I can’t see an actual dollar amount being added in that kind of investment. But I also know that some investments are more valuable than money.
Just the other day my youngest son, Braden, wanted to upgrade his ipod touch so that he could add more “apps.” I want to “upgrade” my life and intensify my focus so that I will seize “God’s Opps” throughout the mundane or crazy moments of my day. Let me see, . . . writing this post—one down on my “God Opps” for the day! How many more can I seize?
So, what “God Opps” are you going to seize today?
“The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11-12 (NIV)
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity . . .” Ephesians 5:15-16a (NIV)