I’ve been thinking about opportunity.
That sometimes we’ve defined what a great opportunity looks like, wrongly. And with our typical take on what it looks like, we miss out on something super amazing. For more than just ourselves.
And I guess that’s the rub.
Our radar has been honed to home in on the things and encounters that will benefit us in big ways. To receive. Always to receive.
That position at work that’s suddenly open. That incredible sale no one noticed yet and wow did you score. That chance meeting that widened your networking scope. That magazine that stumbled onto your crazy good writing skills. That sudden windfall that let you donate to charity and upgrade your vacation home.
But what if we took all the things this week that bottomed out, all the things that felt miserable, all the things we battled more than usual, and let them turn us into an opportunity?
Did you know all those hard things were a gift?
They turn us into walking opportunities. We have a perspective not available to everyone else. We can relate unlike anyone else. We can give from a very real place because of the very real struggles we’re so familiar with. You could be someone else’s next big opportunity.
You know that look of defeat all too well, even though no one else has picked up on it. And you step forward and you extend compassion that comes from tasting that same defeat. An offer to pray for them, and be a support. The opportunity? To be proof that nothing has to keep them down for long.
That flicker of sheer panic is so familiar to you, and your co-worker doesn’t know you spotted it as the boss left the room. But you realise you have advice, you have encouragement, when you thought before you were nothing alike. Your opportunity? To be an ally. To be a guide. Be proof that one day they’ll look back and see there was hope.
Just the other day you were the mom pulling her hair out. And when she passes you in the grocery store looking angry and cranky, you suddenly spot the overwhelming emotions of one who has too many kids and not enough energy. A good woman at the end of her tether. And instead of rude looks back and snide remarks, you extend a smile, you tell her how beautiful the little ones strangling each other in the cart are, and you give her back some dignity when she thought hers had fled the scene for good.
Your circumstances are so much more than that awful thing you have to live with. They shape us into walking opportunities for grace, for love, for mercy, and compassion. Something our world needs a decent injection of if we’re ever going to make it.
There you are.
Walking this earth.
With all this stuff you wish you never had.
But with so much insight no one else might ever have to share.
Enough to dramatically change someone’s day.
In small ways with big impact.
You might just be the best opportunity in someone’s day today. A walking opportunity.
Ever notice it’s hard to walk with your eyes closed? Obviously.
So our challenge: To keep our eyes open. And change our definition of a great opportunity.