Missed opportunities. We all know what they are. I was watching my Detroit Tigers play on Saturday. They were winning 2 -1 and they had men on second and third in one inning and bases loaded in another inning. Both times they failed to bring in any more runners. They missed their opportunity to put the game away. Hey, they had their ace on the mound. Maybe they weren't trying very hard. Maybe they thought they had the game won. Who knows?
In the eighth inning the Twins got a couple of men on and then the Tiger left fielder made an error. Two runs scored. The next man walked and the following man got on with another error. The third batter hit a home run to the deepest part of the ball park. Game over. A 6 -2 loss was the result. Minnesota didn't waste their opportunity and they came out ahead.
Fast forward a day to Sunday and I was watching my Pittsburgh Steelers play the Bears. The Steelers scored early and seemed to have the upper hand. Late in the game they were driving down the field again and were stopped short of the goal line. They brought in their place kicker and he lined up to kick a field goal. The play began and he missed it.
Before long the Steelers got another chance. They drove down the field and tried a second field goal. They missed again. When the Bears got the ball back they wasted little time going down the field. When they got their shot at a field goal, they made it and ended up winning the game.
These two scenarios that were played out in the realm of sports happen every day in our lives. God gives us plenty of opportunities to be a blessing to others. Too often we can't take advantage of them. We take our eyes off the ball or we take too much for granted and we let them slip by.
Have you ever felt you should give someone a call to check in? Have you been thinking of someone and had a thought pop into your head to send them a card? These are what I like to call "God's nudges." He taps us on the shoulder and suggests in that still small voice that we reach out to someone who needs an encouraging word or an uplifting message. I believe god gives us these opportunities all the time but because we are too busy or too distracted we miss out on the blessing we could give and the one we could receive.
On Saturday I was in Massachusetts at the New England States Conference for the Miss America Program. At noon time I realized that the young woman who I had spoken with in the hall was Miss America, Katie Stamm. She was so down to earth and so friendly that I just took her for one of the young women attending the affair.
I am a camera hound and I decided that I'd like to get my picture with Miss America. So I began looking for the opportunity. I said something to a friend of mine and he invited me to the private rehearsal for the evening show. Sure enough Miss America was there and I got my photo.
The truth is that I only got the photo because I was looking for the opportunity and took it when it came. I pray that we all might be just as diligent with the opportunities that God provides to be a blessing to the world in which we live.