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The Crux

How Opportunity Knocks, And What Happens When the Door Is Opened

Does opportunity look anything like Jesus?

In Revelation 3:20, to the church in Laodicea, Christ is recorded as saying,

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.

Of course, He was speaking to a particular church at a particular time and place. However, many theologians have commented that His words are as relevant to the church at any age during the current dispensation. I'll have to agree with them.

While these words have nothing to do with opportunity itself, I can imagine Opportunity, if it had a voice, sounding much like Jesus:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If you open it, I'll reveal what beautiful surprises are in store for you and lead you to places heretofore unimagined.

It's Opportunity. He probably speaks with a lisp.

Well, as flippant as that may sound, I must disclose that I have no clue what the voice of opportunity sounds like, but I do recognize its knock.

from Pexels

How Opportunity Knocked on My Door in Clarksburg, Maryland

Two weeks ago, while selling books in Clarksburg, Maryland, I was approached by a gentleman in a white scrub. This man was the pharmacist at the Harris Teeter grocery store in Clarksburg where I had set up a book table. He approached me and said,

Some of my employees said there is an author by the front door selling books, and I didn't believe them. I had to come and see for myself.

After laughing, I readily admitted that I was, indeed, a real author and was standing by the front door selling books. He, in his turn, laughed. And we enjoyed a short conversation. The gentleman was quick to point out that my books were religious. I couldn't deny it. On the table were my Christian testimony I Am Not the King and a series of fiction books called Biblical Legends Anthology Series (BLAS).

Sidebar: Here's a picture of my book table:

After explaining that my testimony was a work of nonfiction telling how I was raised in a religious household, strayed out on my own as a young man, and brought back to Christ by the unwitting mockeries of an atheist college professor, I went on to describe the BLAS series.

Readers familiar with my work would know the BLAS series consists of short stories and poems from various authors who submitted stories set in biblical settings but without biblical characters. They are neither Christian nor anti-Christian. Rather, they are simply entertaining reads that depict the respective biblical settings as backdrops to entirely fictional stories and characters.

After hearing my pitch, the gentleman bought a book and disclosed to me that he pastors a church in Rockville, Maryland. Then he invited me to speak to his congregation one upcoming Sunday. I agreed and we set a date. That upcoming Sunday was Pentecost Sunday. In other words, last Sunday.

It's a little grainy (darn smartphones!), but this is me speaking at the United Christian Church in Rockville, Maryland.

What An Opportunity Looks Like

The wonderful thing about we Christians is that we love to help each other. When one of us is in need, the rest of us step up. But assistance need not always be financial. It can be emotional, psychological, physical, or spiritual. One would hope that whatever else it is, it is also spiritual.

The pastor of the church, Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Mbi, wanted someone to speak to his congregation as an encouragement to them. I was happy to do so, but what one might not expect is that the opportunity to do as asked was itself an encouragement to me. The opportunity was more than an invitation, which it was. It was also a chance to grow and do something outside of my normal routine, something that would challenge me and help me to grow personally.

Isn't that what an opportunity is? Isn't it, at the heart, a chance to grow personally?

But I would say it's also more than that. It's a responsibility. And like any responsibility, it requires work. In this case, the work was gathering thoughts on what to speak about and preparing some sort of outline or guide for myself to get me through it. On Saturday, the day before the speech (which lasted for about 15 minutes), I took some time to jot down some notes and a couple of Bible verses that I could use to anchor the exhortations for my audience. It didn't take long, but it was a necessary first step to prepare for the day.

The work also included an hour-and-a-half drive and the preparation for that drive.

As it turned out, I showed up, delivered the speech, and made some new friends. I also got to attend an incredible worship service, a reward for responding to the opportunity.

The Rewards for Responding to Opportunity's Knock Are Often Better Than We Can Imagine

When opportunity knocks, do you open the door?

For the record, that is a rhetorical question, but I hope you answer it. At least for yourself.

Opportunity does not always look the way we expect it to look. I showed up at Harris Teeter hoping to sell books. I did sell some, but I was somewhat surprised that my sales were not what I would normally expect them to be when selling books at Kroger stores in Texas. There could be any number of reasons why that is the case, but I won't dwell on those. Rather, we must understand that opportunity is always knocking and the only way we can recognize it is if our eyes and ears are open. Thank God I was listening.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, there is an opportunity knocking at your door. Will you open the door and let it walk in, or will you stand behind the closed door pondering whether you should open it?

I'll leave you with that thought and this not-so-subtle reminder from Thomas Edison:

Funny, opportunity looks a lot like Jesus after all. Yes, salvation is free, as is grace, but we've been called to good works, which were prepared by God in advance. Not only that, but we are God's workmanship, created in His image to carry on the work that He started. Are you standing by the door and listening for the knock?

Allen Taylor is the author of I Am Not the King, editor of the Biblical Legends Anthology Series, and publisher at Crux Publications.

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#revelation#christianity#jesus christ#church#books#writing#i am not the king#biblical legends anthology series#ephesians
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