Missed Opportunity

Posted: November 6, 2019 in Meditations
black and white decision doors opportunity

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“Phil, Dieter Gabriel is in the hospital. You may want to stop in and say hello.” My mother’s words caught me off guard. I was nineteen but I never visited anyone my age in the hospital. It was always somebody old, grandparents and the like. I felt uncomfortable, a bit put upon. Dieter and I went way back, friends from my old neighborhood. We now rarely saw each other. “Thanks mom – we’ll see.” That was a polite way to say no.

I have no idea what I did that night. Obviously, it wasn’t memorable and most likely not important. Dieter was an intrusion on my world, at least for one night. I clearly remember my rationale, “I can visit Dieter tomorrow.” I did this same thing with schoolwork and chores. Procrastination was my best friend. The next day came and went. Dieter left my mind. Distractions edited my days, I lived each moment with a cavalier come what may spirit. The next day I heard words I’ll never forget, “Son, Dieter passed away last night.”

Those words cut deep, they still do. My heart froze, I knew in that moment I had sinned against God and Dieter. No words were necessary, I chose myself over divine opportunity and I couldn’t go back and make this one right. Dieter was gone.

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land” Ezekiel 22:30  My pastor preached from this text when I was eighteen. He challenged us, “Who will stand in the gap?” Every day offers countless opportunities to be God’s hand extended. God wants to use us, God choose to use us. But we must be faithful, alert, present in the moment. As we prove faithful, God expands our opportunities. We find a rhythm with our senior partner, the Holy Spirit. We recognize our opportunities, we act, and God does the supernatural.

I learned a lifelong lesson that day at nineteen years of age. Don’t put off opportunities, seize them. When God calls us to stand in the gap, stand strong. Take nothing for granted, obey, none of us can redeem time. Missed opportunities steal divine possibilities in the kingdom of God. A love that should have been passed between friends never happened. Yet, God picked me up, God forgave me, he used my failure to instruct me. Today, almost five full decades later, I serve the Great God, Infinite Goodness. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:17  “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:7,8

black and white decision doors opportunity




  1. John K says:

    I look forward to our shared opportunity to stand in the gap.

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