Yesterday, in my daily email from Church of the Nativity, Evan (the author of the emails) was discussing the plight of John the Baptist, who absolutely believed he was pursuing an opportunity to follow God; instead, he ended up in prison and began to doubt his mission.
Evan posed this question toward the end of his email:
“Have you ever been totally convinced and sure of an opportunity — all the signs seem to be pointing in the right direction — but the situation doesn’t seem to work out as planned?”
I laughed when I read this, because I thought that many of the opportunities in my life had ended up this way. But if we are to truly understand opportunity, we need to look beyond the initial outcome of that opportunity and see the interconnectedness with new opportunities previously unrealized.
In 1988, I had a great opportunity to move into an old farmhouse with two brothers who were paramedics. The place was close to school, and it was an ideal situation for me. Although that experience was short-lived, new opportunities presented themselves that I could have never imagined. Many of them are still a big part of my life (to read some of the deeper stories, download a free copy of my latest book, Faith, Hope, and Legacy).
My point is this: when presented with opportunities of any kind, we must look beyond our initial expectations and open ourselves to new opportunities that may present themselves, especially when we least expect them. It is a humbling thing to remember that the purpose of any opportunity may be completely different than what we had hoped for. Be mindful, in all ways, and widen your perspective to receive the unexpected.