Missed Opportunity

Elizabeth Jarvis reading the bible on her couch.

There’s only one CEO. A handful of partners. A certain number of spots on the team, seats of admission, or scholarships offered.

Not everyone is going to get their heart’s desire every time. 

Recently, we thought about ways to be ready for times when opportunity presents itself. What happens, though, when we thought we WERE ready, but the big break we were waiting on seems to have passed us by, or never comes our way? Missing out on finite opportunity, I’m going to suggest, is an opportunity in and of itself. And, it leads, quite possibly to the biggest and best, limitless opportunity of all. Our highest calling, our life’s purpose—worship—getting our eyes off ourselves and back on God.

I’m going to offer us another list. Shorter this time, and more comprehensive than 5 Ways to Be Ready for Opportunity. This is a list for when we feel deflated from not getting the outcome of our longing.

  1. Praise
  2. Pray

Praising God for where we are, despite the disappointment of missed opportunity, is a way to reflect on how far he’s already brought us to date. It shows him we realize his presence in all our steps to this point. It lets him know our gratitude by recognizing him as our constant provider. God doesn’t thwart our opportunity because he’s holding out on us. It’s actually his kindest possible answer. We just can’t see the whole picture, yet.

Praying, on the other hand, is a way to continue to expect more good things to come, again letting God know our reliance on him. God still has a plan to glorify himself and to bless his people, even when we don’t get what we think we want. Asking God to do what we can’t, including often tuning our hearts from the bitterness or envy we may feel, credits to him the absolute worth he deserves.

In "Heaven Opened", James Campbell said:

“The work on the other side, whatever be its character, will be adapted to each one’s special aptitude and powers. It will be the work he can do best; the work that will give the fullest play to all that is within him. The energy stored up in his nature, instead of being withdrawn at death will rather be set free to work on in higher forms of service.”

What if, in light of eternity, each chance we take, each setback we face, each opportunity into which we grow here on this Earth is really just another step toward preparing us for work we’ll be doing until the end of time? This quote helps me pan the camera way back, giving me the perspective that, no matter what blurriness I see in my disappointing circumstances, both the opportunities I experience and letdowns that redirect me, are preparing me for my eternal home and the work I’ll do best forever. And, the thought of living with all my energy joyfully set free, utilizing my bests characteristics, in service? A greater hope, I can’t imagine! It’s true – those missed opportunities aren’t misses after all.

How has God revealed glimpses of the bigger picture in your life? What missed opportunities could you later see to be blessings in disguise?