The ‘Tide of Opportunity’
To be an opportunist you have to seize what is opportune and inviting, to lay hold of and to grasp favourable occasions as they appear and pass by. Here’s a quote from Shakespeare that carries sound truth and one that speaks to me of boldness when making decisions, and exercising initiative when making a choice that matters. “There is a tide in the affairs of men that, when taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, then all the voyage of their lives are lost in shallows and despair”. Unless we set our sails to determine direction, we will be hopelessly blown along by the winds of impulse, circumstances, expediency and popular opinion. Decisions are inexplicably linked with opportunity and opportunity with decisions; many of life’s successful people have been ‘opportunist’; men and woman who have seized the right moment to make a move, for ‘choices are the hinges of destiny’.
Let us be people who set our sails to catch the wind of the spirit, wherever it is blowing, moving with the tide of spiritual opportunity with fervent enthusiasm. Yes, there is a tide in the affairs of men that when taken at the flood leads on to better things.
The tide of opportunity passed by those who had ears that had grown used to hearing some new thing and had gathered on Mars Hill to hear Paul proclaim the True God. It presented itself to the Philippian Jailer and his family. The tide reached the house of Cornelius, lapped at the feet of the woman at the well, swept alongside Nicodemus, and flowed by the shepherds in the field as the Angelic choir sang at the birth of Christ; it gathered momentum at the feet of Agrippa, who was almost persuaded, and even travelled as far as the household of Caesar in Rome. If we should ever attempt to breach its flow, it will simply pass by us and move on, and our lives will be poorer for it. This language of a ‘Tide’ speaks to me of windows of opportunity; of favourable occasions springing up; of Divine appointments, and of open doors, followed by our positive response when they present themselves.
So as we embrace ‘opportunism’ let us remember that it’s not the years of our lives, it’s the life in our years that will count most and make a lasting impression and difference to those around us. Growing old is inevitable, but living old is optional. I want to be able to dream big; let me chase my aspirations and pursue my goals; let me not live my life to satisfy others, but let me just be what I am and true to myself. Let me continue to build strong relationships and foster friendships, seeking always the good of others; for as I freely bestow these on others, they will find me. Let me not seek to be great, but let me seek to do great things. Let me cultivate a passion for something worthwhile, and to be part of something bigger than myself. Let me not resist change, for change is inevitable. Let me engage with life, keeping hold of the old and embracing the new. Let me live in the moment, seizing the day, for it’s the only one that I can depend on.
Finally, let me also carry a desire to fruitfully connect with those who God brings into my life. Let me become an ‘Agent of Transformation’ living and reflecting the ‘Love’ and ‘Generosity’ of our Great God to others. Join me in setting our sails to move with the ‘Tide of opportunity’ as it comes our way.
Jack has been a faithful member of the Free Methodist Church for 34 years, spending many of those years in leadership. He lives in Lancashire, UK, and has recently celebrated 60 years as being a Christian! Find our more about Jack and the story behind Jack’s corner: Treasures of the Word here.