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OPINION: Recognising opportunities

Monday 22 August 2022 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Opinion

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OPINION: Recognising opportunities
Ruta Tangiiau Mave. Photo: CI NEWS

Opportunities seldom come when you are most ready, organised or feeling comfortable or sane. Opportunities have the tendency to come at the most inopportune moment.

There is a parable of a man sitting on the roof of his house with flood waters all around him. He calls out to God for help, to save him. A log of wood floats by and bumps against where the man is sitting. Again, he calls up to the sky, ‘God please save me’. As the water levels rise a plastic door floats along on the water bobbing on the muddy rushing waters. Desperate now the man pleads with God to save him, as the waves wash him off the roof, he can’t swim and he drowns and dies.

At the pearly gates he questions St Peter as to why God didn’t save him when he asked for help? St Peter replied: “He gave you two opportunities to save you and you refused to accept them, what more were you expecting a big flashing neon sign?” God will supply the opportunities but it’s up to us to do something with it.

Opportunities are always there but some are disguised, so sometimes if you are looking for them you can mistake them for other things or as nothing important, when the opposite is true.

Opportunities seldom come when you are most ready, organised or feeling comfortable or sane. Opportunities have the tendency to come at the most inopportune moment or when you have too many other things going on. Often they come to help you and/or to shake up your world so completely you start questioning where and who you are.

They say when one door closes another door opens, the Bible says knock and you shall receive. Some see the closed and open doors as the same stuff different day. Interpretation is the key, what looks like a golden opportunity to one person can look like a challenge or road of disruption to others. What we are usually unaware of is that god has a plan for you to prosper and not to come to harm, but from where you’re standing it can feel completely different or like you have been abandoned.

The parable continues with the man looking at the timeline of his life and as he walks he sees two sets of footprints walking alongside the other during his good times then during his low and desperate times he only sees one set of footprints. He asks St Peter whose footprints are these in his life? Those are yours and God’s, replies St Peter. But why during my bad times has he abandoned me, see there is only one set of footprints. St Peter shakes his head, “my friend you are mistaken he did not forsake you, there is only one set of footprints because he is carrying you”.

It takes courage to take on new opportunities, to make changes to one’s routine or predictable way of life. More often than not those who do take the plunge to try new opportunities report they learnt lots about themselves – they ended up on a journey of discovery that has changed their lives for the better. An opportunity is like a new direction of destiny. If life is like a river that runs to the ocean it is inevitable where the river will end up, but along the way there are many times where the river can branch off at different forks along the way. One may amble along smoothly another may lead to rapid or waterfalls, others can end up into spiralling Eddie’s going nowhere very fast and stagnation.

The trick to life and opportunities is to go with the flow and to also take charge, you have choices. You can choose to head down a path, you can look ahead and anticipate challenges. You can push against rock obstacles along the way and not crash into them. You can keep yourself afloat and enjoy the bumpy ride as you would river rafting, you can experience from a distance staying safe and dry, or you can jump in and swim in the deep end until you find your feet.

Our lives are determined, we will all reach the great ocean of life at some stage but we can have an adventure or a cruise. Everyone has an opportunity to create a different life if they want to. You don’t have to keep the life you have if you don’t like it, or you have out grown it.

Using opportunities to change your life is scary and feel like a risk. Few things are fatal, you can try something new then reassess. An opportunity is a sign post or a test. Being offered a dream job may be part of God’s plan or a test to see if this is a priority in your life now. If a dream job offers positive challenges to grow yourself then why not. If it means choosing between money and time with your children it is most likely a test, where are your priorities?

If you see an opportunity to make a large amount of money easily and outside the realms of integrity then it is more likely a test from god. So if you had the opportunity to act irresponsibly and you chose to and now have a lawyer to defend your choices then you have another opportunity to take responsibility and accountability and plead guilty as the others have before you. If however, you decide to fight for your honour when you had an opportunity to choose honour before, and even if your QC is clever and gets you a free pass, you will be having to answer why didn’t you take the opportunities god offered, not the disguises the devil gave you.