- Susan Eaton
Opportunities or Obstacles?
Today was the day I’ve been waiting for!
It’s been two years since we moved into our fixer-upper of a house. and for two years we’ve been living with bathroom counters that were, well, ugly…and broken…but mostly ugly. And today was the day all that was going to change. Finally! New, pretty countertops that we can spill stuff on, spit on, and leave our junk all over with pride. Ahhh… sounds nice, doesn’t it?
The workers showed up this morning around 10:30 am and got to work. It was quite the noisy commotion. Tearing out the old and replacing the new took about three hours of hard work. I was so excited to behold the beauty of my new countertops and go brush my teeth over them. I made my way into the bathroom and was a little surprised by what I saw.
“So, the sinks? Are you putting the sinks back together?”
“Oh, we’re not allowed to put any plumbing back together.”
I would like to have seen the look on my own face when my balloon burst right in front of them.
You see, we don’t have your typical drop-in sinks in this bathroom. Nope. Whoever did the last remodel of this house chose the bowl sinks that sit on top of the counter. So that changes everything about how to hook up the plumbing. The kids’ sink upstairs—drop-in—no problem. Easy peasy. The two in our bathroom would be a different story.
Needless to say, as soon as the workers left I started working on how to get this problem resolved TO-DAY. But, no luck. It’s Friday. And it was just too late in the day for anyone to come.
Not the way I had anticipated this going.
But as I stood in the bathroom looking at all the pieces and parts of our sinks’ plumbing that lay in our bathtub, I realized that they were all REALLY dirty. Then the lightbulb went off. This was a great opportunity for me to clean every single piece and part of these sinks that I would normally never be able to get to! So I picked up each piece, took them to the kitchen and began to work.
And, guys, let me tell you… it was nasty! I will spare you the grimy details, but trust me, this needed to be done and it needed to be done a long time ago. My house smells like we just sprayed the walls with every type of cleaner known to man. Believe me when I say I did as thorough of a job as I possibly could. Had it not been for this little bump in the road with getting the sinks put back in, I would never have gotten to this necessary cleaning.
As I stood in the kitchen cleaning, I realized that I had just done something I’ve said I wanted to be sure and do every day. And no, it wasn’t cleaning out centuries of grime and hair out of sink drains. I have been praying about seeing opportunities, and having the willingness and courage to act upon them when they present themselves.
And here’s the thing I’m learning about opportunities. Many times opportunities arise out of situations that we don’t like. Many times opportunities present themselves when we are in the middle of circumstances that we would have rather avoided.
For instance, the opportunity for us to buy this house we’re in came out of a time of financial stress and strain that was very unwelcome. But it was that stressful situation that caused my husband and I to begin praying hard for new opportunities. We spent months praying and asking:
“How can we think differently? Where are the opportunities to do something different from what we are doing now?”
We never thought we would be ones to purchase a “foreclosure fixer-upper,” but here we are. And I will tell you that trusting God with this one opportunity has opened up countless opportunities for us to find financial relief and provide for our children in a way that would not have been possible if we had stayed where we were. I’ve been trying to enter every single day with this same trusting mindset--with eyes wide open and a willing spirit. Some days I am better at it than others. But I'm trying.
So I wonder…
Where might you need to look for opportunities?
Maybe you’re in a stressful time and things aren’t going the way you would like them to go. Can I encourage you to ask, “Lord, where are the opportunities here? What do you see that I don’t currently see?”
Maybe life is good and you’re floating through every day on a cloud. This would be a good time for you to ask, “Lord, where are the opportunities here? Where can you use me?”
Whether life has taken a sideways turn, or whether we are floating on cloud nine, countless opportunities lie before us to get on board with God. So what if we challenged ourselves to look for the opportunities in each day? What might we see? What if we asked God for the courage we need, the patience we need, the strength, or the confidence we need to step boldly into the opportunities that come our way? How might that enable us to bring the possibilities of God into our lives or into the lives of others?
I’ve come to realize that God is full of endless possibilities. But I’ve also come to see that many of these new possibilities are on the other side of our being faithful to step into the opportunities that God presents to us. That’s why I want my eyes to be open every day to the opportunities God places before me.
What about you?
Are your eyes open? Are you tuning in to what God is placing before you? Are you taking the opportunity to access God’s power and wisdom that are available to you in each day?
Every day is a new opportunity. Seize it! Take hold of it! And may you see the sparkling new opportunities in your own “dismantled sinks.”