In the days before modern harbors, a ship would sometimes have to wait for high tide until it could make it into port. The term in Latin was “ob porter,” which carried the meaning of a ship standing over against a port waiting for the moment when it could ride the turn of the tide into the harbor. The captain and crew were ready and waiting for that one moment when conditions would allow the ship to make it safely into harbor. If they missed it, they would have to wait for the next tide, thus squandering precious time.
Our English word “opportunity” is derived from that original Latin phrase. Shakespeare turned the background of that meaning into one of his famous passages:
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
When opportunity avails itself, there is no time to waste. Action must be taken or the opportunity may be lost, never to return again. As we are poised on a new year and a new decade, I believe God is giving us the opportunity to impact our community and our world as never before. Our 20/20 vision is on pace to become a reality, but it will take the continued effort of everyone and the power of God behind that effort. We have the means and the message. All that is needed is the faith to move forward, the willingness to be involved, and the motivation to fulfill God’s purpose.
From our communities to Costa Rica to Mongolia to Uganda, people are searching for meaning to life and fulfillment for life. We have the answer for their search. The question is whether or not we will take advantage of the opportunities God affords us this year. Are we willing to go where he sends us and do whatever he asks of us in order to accomplish his will in and through us?
In Matthew 9, Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few; ask the Lord of the harvest therefore to send out workers into his harvest field.” He also made the inquiry in Luke 18:8, “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on the earth?” In other words, when Jesus comes again, will he find his people having taken advantage of the opportunities he gave them or squandered them and have nothing to offer?
Are you up for the call and the challenge? Are you willing to make the necessary sacrifices? Are you ready to be part of a miraculous work with God? This year, let’s seize every opportunity available and make 2020 a breakthrough year for the decades to follow!
To His Glory,