Creating Opportunities vs. Current Realities

When I was in my last years of high school I was in phenomenal shape. I did cross country skiing, track and field, rowing, and more of less any co-ed sport you could imagine (I was young, and co-ed just seemed to have better ROI than male only team sports!) High school presented me with an abundance of athletic opportunities, which I lapped up continuously.

By the time I finished my post-secondary degree it had been a long time since I had any such opportunities dropped on my lap. I read scores of books, printed ream after ream of paper (there were no electronic submissions back then, we just killed trees instead), but didn’t spend any time exercising. My current reality had shifted from athletic bounty to academic riches, but I found myself woefully out of shape and becoming uncomfortably overweight.

In the last few months I have had no increase in the athletic opportunities presented to me, but I have been creating them myself instead. Taking up running, because apparently I hate myself and love torture, I have been creating athletic challenges as I measure my progress against my own splits and distances. I needed to create opportunity for athleticism, because the world had long since given up on providing it for me as an adult.

As I was running what I was convinced would be the last 2.5 km I would ever run before I died right there and then in the parking lot I realized I needed to use that same approach at work. Often in the Church we stare longingly at the opportunities that present themselves to other churches, communities, or people. We think if only that would happen to my church then all my problems would be solved.

The lake where I drag my dying body around the boardwalk was always there, I simply needed to create an athletic opportunity so that I could start getting back in shape. In the same way I won’t learn by accident the same way I did when I was attending lectures and reading a couple of books a week. I also won’t transform our Sunday service by waiting for my circumstances to change. So tomorrow I’m going to create some opportunities, and I hope you do the same.