January 19, 2019

Opportunities. One of the greatest blessings in my life, one that God has granted over and over again, is opportunity. And I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of it, recognized it, or thanked him for it before.

Opportunity? Yes. Not as the dictionary defines it; Merriam-Webster calls opportunity “a favorable juncture of circumstances” or “a good chance for advancement or progress.” My argument with these definitions are the words circumstances and chance—words that leave divine direction entirely out of the equation. The world would have us believe that opportunities are merely matters of chance or of luck. But I believe that God works deliberately and intentionally in our lives, and allows—or even presents—choices to be put before us that, depending on our actions, on what we do with those choices, can lead to great blessings, to stagnation, or even to a great fall. It is our responsibility to examine those opportunities in the light of God’s word and then to move—move forward in faith in the direction we believe God would have us go.

What brought this on? For me, it was the simple act of joining a social community at my church. In October, I heard of an opportunity: a group was (re)forming for people interested in all aspects of performing arts. Thinking of the work I do on the video production team at church and of my love for power tools (set designers can use those!), I attended the first meeting. I quickly realized that the group was biased toward those interested in the performing side—acting in theatrical performances—rather than anything else. I have zero experience in this area, unless you count the mime team I was on in high school (I loved it, but most people laugh rather than counting mime).

Acting. I was out of my comfort zone, and I could have easily slipped away and never reappeared without much notice; only about five people in the group actually know me, and had they questioned my disappearance I could have come up with some type of an excuse. But this was an opportunity to try something new, something that genuinely does interest me, and—perhaps more importantly—to develop new friendships and belong to a new community. So I went again last night, to a meeting that was purely social: a game night.

There were a few times that I found myself standing awkwardly, alone, not feeling like I belong or knowing what to do but not wanting to attach myself like a leech to the sides of people I already knew. Each one of those times, someone walked up to me and integrated me into their conversations, their activities, and made me feel welcome. I am so thankful for those people. And in the end, I am glad I took the opportunity. I am looking forward to the many more friendships, blessings, and opportunities that may come of being a part of this group. And I am thanking God for this unexpected opportunity he has placed in my life.