Where do missed opportunities go? Are they gone forever or does God redeem them by giving us new opportunities?
Here in North Africa, where living intentionally should be as easy as breathing, I still miss opportunities. Why? Well, I’m busy; there is always language to study, classes to teach, emails to write, friends to visit, etc.
But those excuses aren’t good enough. Try telling a little boy that preparing lunch is more important than his soul. Maybe that’s not exactly what I said, but it is most likely what I communicated.
I was in the middle of a bad day when he followed me home from the store. People had been raining expectations down on me and I was exhausted although the day was only half finished. So when he jumped up and followed me, I rolled my eyes.
He only wanted one coin, he said. But to me, he was just one more beggar with just one more fabulous fable to accompany the outstretched palm. I tried to be pleasant, but my smile faded with his persistence. “Enough!” I said as he fell in step with me. “Be quiet!” I said. He didn’t. He followed me to my doorstep and only stopped when I closed the door behind me.
I had just started putting groceries away when my conscience awakened. What if I was the only person in that boy’s life who could have shared truth with him?
It took an hour or so before I was ready to face him again and apologize for my heartlessness. But when I went outside, he wasn’t there. Nor was he in front of the store. He had vanished.
So had my opportunity.
But my question is this: Has God redeemed my mistake by giving me another opportunity? Could it be having tea with that lonely widow? Or maybe taking time for a girl whose insecurity manifests itself in bullying?
God is a God of redemption. Because He has redeemed me, I know He is capable of redeeming my missed opportunities.