Embracing the Opportunities Set Before Us

This week I’m away, spending some time praying and seeking to hear the Lord for our church. It’s something I do every year but, with COVID and all the craziness of this year, I am doing it much later than normal. It’s a time that I try to be very focused and take advantage of every minute I have away from my regular routine.

This morning I sat in a coffee shop and read and typed some things that the Lord had put on my heart. As I was sitting there, an older lady asked me if it was ok if she sat there at the table next to me. I told her “Absolutely!” But, if I’m being honest, what was really going through my head was: “There are numerous other seats throughout the cafe—why this one?”

She asked me if I was working and I explained that I was on a work getaway of sorts. I realized at that moment that the work I was currently doing was about to come to a halt. It’s interesting because, as I realized this, the thought that went through my head was, “Am I going to view this as a distraction or as an opportunity to show love to this lady who is obviously desiring some human contact?”

I decided to embrace the moment, close my computer and engage in conversation with this sweet lady. It didn’t take long before she found out that I’m a pastor, which created some interesting conversations. I discovered that my new friend Benita was raised Catholic but didn’t believe in God or organized religion herself.

However, she was very interested in my church and my views as a pastor. We had some wonderful conversations about Jesus and life. And I realized very quickly that this moment was not a distraction keeping me from my work. Rather, it was a beautiful opportunity to show Benita the love of Jesus.

As she got up to leave about 30 to 40 minutes later, she told me it was a blessing to meet such a caring and enlightened pastor. It was a great reminder of how important it is for us to embrace the opportunities that the Lord sets before us. I don’t know if my time spent with Benita will change her views on God or life, but it reminded me that we are called to love people. We live in a time and day where human contact can be somewhat rare and I’m learning that we need to take advantage of every moment we’re given. Because we never know how that moment will impact someone else’s life, or even our own!

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