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Don’t Waste Your “Opportunities”

“I just got back from a week in Paris!”

“Well, what did you see?  Where did you eat?  Who did you talk to?”

“Well, actually, I spent the week at the airport. I didn’t want to go anyplace else.”

“You were in Paris for a week and never left the airport!  What a wasted opportunity!”

What comes to your mind with the words “wasted opportunity”?  How much someone could have learned, or enjoyed, or experienced, or been made richer (financially or otherwise)?

It’s easy to see how someone could waste something like a trip to Paris. But what if the “opportunity”, the “experience”, is not so inviting?  What if it’s a trip to possibly fatal cancer?  Or a wayward child who’s breaking your heart?  Or financial difficulty?  An unfaithful spouse?  A crummy job?

How can these situations be “wasted”?  They can be if we do not see them in the way that God sees them, and respond to them the way God invites us to.  John Piper wrote this week to his church Don’t Waste Your Cancer, on the eve of his prostate cancer surgery.  But you don’t need to have prostate cancer for God to use this letter in your life.  If you can take whatever trial or difficulty or heaviness you are struggling with, and follow Piper’s instructions to pledge to try to see and accept it as designed by God, to see it as a gift and not a curse, to focus more on God than on it, to allow it to deepen your relationships with others, to strive for a life of holiness, and to allow it to let you to better witness to the glory and truth of Christ, you will not have wasted your “opportunity.”