Missed Opportunities

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Missed Opportunities | Life as MOM

At the start of Friday morning I had an agenda: make progress on the book at all costs.

But, I was trying to alternate my work-work-work mentality with things that would care for me and my family. I skipped the gym in favor of 30 minutes of Bible study and journaling. At the end of my journal time I wrote:

Refine me, Lord? I’m afraid to ask. It might hurt. I don’t want pain. I want ease. I want my hip to stop hurting. I want money fears to go away. I want to stop worrying about my children and how I could ruin them.

But, I’m also not afraid of hard work. I think I’ve been a hard worker. Show me where you want the work done, Lord. Show me what my part is. Show me where I need to surrender. Amen.

Lo and behold, not two hours later I was given an opportunity and I blew it. I’d finished my shopping at Walmart in record time and was heading home to get some work done. In the parking lot I offered my cart to an elderly woman with a cane. Instead of accepting the cart, she asked in a round about way if I could drive her over to the bank. The bus wouldn’t go that far, she explained.

And I looked for an excuse.

True story. I’m ashamed to admit it. Part was because I wondered if she was “a bad guy”. Like what if she had a gun or something. But, under that, disguised in fearful clothing was the fear of being put out, being taken advantage of. Years ago I had helped a stranger in a similar way and ended up being her taxi service for months, though she had sons she could call on and I had lots of little people to drag along with me.

The ghost of a thought, I gave at the office, might have even crossed my mind.

You mean I have to give more?

I give all. the. time. Or so it seems. And here was one more person asking for something.

Though she walked away from me, I went after her and helped her climb in. She had extreme mobility issues — some that I’ll probably have someday because of this darn hip. If it hurts me at 41, what will it be like at 71?

We drove to the bank. I helped her out. Another man helped her get in the foyer. It was before hours, so she would have to wait until they opened. I felt bad that I wasn’t staying to help her again when her business was done.

On my way back to the car I found a debit card that someone had dropped in the parking lot. Great. I’ll have to give again. I went home to track down the person, came up short, and headed back to the bank when it opened at 9 to turn it in, prepared to see my new acquaintance again. I was prepared this time to take her where she needed to go.

But, she wasn’t there.

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. — Hebrews 13:2

Missed Opportunities

I missed an opportunity to love someone this week.

I missed an opportunity to be refined.

I missed an opportunity to give just a little bit more.

And I regret that.

My wise friend Sharon consoled me, “Just pray and ask God to open your heart to future opportunities.” So that’s what I’m doing: praying that I don’t miss the next one.

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  1. Gosh, this really spoke to me. I have to admit, I probably wouldn’t have helped that lady. I have pretty serious “stranger danger” and I would have been concerned for the same reasons. So know that you went further than most and I DO think that counts for something.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I love this post for it’s honesty. I fail so many times when God shows me ways to give because I am in a rush or I am just blind to what needs to be done.

    Thank you for this reminder to look, listen and see what God wants from us.

  3. This has blessed me so. Thanks for your honesty, and thanks for sharing. This will be my prayer this week.

  4. “I give all. the. time. Or so it seems. And here was one more person asking for something”

    Oh, how I know this feeling! A wise friend of mine suggested this feeling of mine was a temptation against Hope. Hope that my true needs will be taken care of.

    I hope other readers will join me in covering you in prayer as you approach your writing deadline.

  5. It’s really hard sometimes, isn’t it? In my faith, one of the most important mitzvahs (commanded good deeds) is to show hospitality to the stranger (like Abraham did.) And often, I don’t feel like doing it:). Thanks for sharing your struggle…

  6. I always have a little person with me. I wouldn’t have felt right giving a stranger a ride. I totally understand. I also understand the feeling of “one more person asking something of me”. I feel this way a lot. It’s refreshing to hear your honesty.

  7. That is excellent, wise advice! Learn from, make a note of, but do not allow satan to shame you because of a missed opportunity! Our Heavenly Father has already forgotten:)

  8. Yes, sometimes life and its decisions can be so difficult. What is wise? What is right? What is foolish? What are good priorities and what is selfishness?

    Thanks so much for sharing. Bless you!