Saturday, February 16, 2013

Opportunity or Obstacle?

When I think of the word opportunity, a few things come to mind: a job promotion, an open door to a new venture, or doing something that’s never been done before. But not every new opportunity is a good one. In fact, some might be better off missed.

Years ago, a friend of mine asked me to travel to Chicago to see a talk show. She all but waved the tickets in front of me. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.  Her enthusiasm grew contagious, so I agreed to the trip.

The morning of our departure, I got out of bed, put the coffee on to brew, and made my way to the bathroom to take a shower. As soon as I stepped in front of the tub, my stomach churned. Not in a physical sense, but in the way it’s always done when something’s not right. I pressed my hand to my belly, hoping the feeling would pass.

But it didn't. As time wore on, it felt as though a boulder had lodged in my gut. What is it, Lord?

No sooner had I posed the question, than a knowing filled my soul. I knew I couldn’t go, but I had no idea why.

I picked up the phone to call my friend. She answered on the first ring. “Hey, you about ready? This is going to be great.”
“We’ll stop and eat breakfast first.”
“Listen. I—”
“I’m heading out the door in a few minutes, okay?”
“What’s up?”
I took a deep breath. “I can’t go.”
A sigh traversed the line. “Are you kidding me? Why?”
“I don’t know. I just have a feeling—”
“A feeling? Yeah, right. If you didn’t really want to go in the first place, you should have told me. I can’t believe you’re doing this.”
“Look, I’m sorry, okay?”
“I’ll catch you later.”
She ended up taking her sister instead.
A few days later, her sister phoned me. “It’s a good thing you didn’t go, Deb. I know how you are about God and stuff. You would have crawled under your seat if would have been there.”
“What do you mean?”
“The show was about male strippers. They came out into the audience and everything. One guy walked right in front of me, which is where you would have been sitting, and gyrated his hips in my face.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“Do I sound like I’m kidding?”
I heaved a sigh of relief. “Thank you so much for telling me this.”
My friend didn't call for several days. When she finally did, she asked, “How did you know?”
That was the whole point. I didn’t know anything. God did.
If this ever happens to you, no matter what type of opportunity comes up (and no matter how good it might seem to be), follow what the Spirit of the Lord puts on your heart. It may not make sense at the time, but if you’ll listen, it will save you a whole lot of grief in the process. Like I said before, some "opportunities" are better off missed. 

Note: Today's post is part of the CW blog chain. The topic is "Opportunity". Please check out my sidebar, further down on the right, to see some great posts by other writers.