You may be familiar with the story of how a salesman was sent to a village by his company. He was there for two weeks and he wrote a letter back to his company saying, “Please bring me home, nobody wears shoes over here.” Another salesman was sent in his place and in a couple of weeks, he sent a letter back to the company saying, “Please send all the shoes you can, because nobody wears shoes here.”
I believe what made the difference between the two salesmen was that the later had an eye for opportunities. I am also convinced that this is what will differentiate people who will stand out in their pursuit of purpose this year.
Opportunity is the currency of impact. Every man who made an impact in their lifetime, did so by SEEING and SEIZING opportunities. We cannot overemphasize this truth. Let me share another story with you.
In 1269 Kublai Khan sent a request from Peking to Rome for “a hundred wise men of the Christian religion…And so I shall be baptized, and when I shall be baptized, all my baron and great men will be baptized, and their subjects baptized, and so there will be more Christians here than there are in your parts.” The Mongols were then wavering in the choice of a religion. It might have been, as Kublai forecast, the greatest mass religious movement the world has ever seen. The history of all Asia would have been changed.
But what actually happened? Pope Gregory X answered by sending two Dominican friars. They got as far as Armenia, could endure no longer and returned home. So passed what may have been the greatest missionary opportunity in the history of the church. Take it from me, several opportunities like this slip off our fingers every day!
William Arthur was right when he said opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them. If we will be effective in our pursuits of purpose in 2017, it is important that we learn how to consistently deliver impact with spectacular creativity by seeing and seizing opportunities. But how? Here are some thoughts.
We must be sensitive to divine burdens.
There are needs that must be met. There are people waiting to be blessed. There are heights that need to be reached. The good news is God is also interested in getting these things done for the expansion of his kingdom. But there is always a need for a man before any need on earth can be met by Heaven. We have to be connected to God to share his burdens and to be able to see the needs He wants to meet per time.
Purpose is first about God not meeting needs. However, when we live our lives to please God, we soon find that we led to live selflessly for others by meeting needs.
We must be impact-oriented.
Many people just want to survive. So when they pray, for example, the bulk of their requests are about themselves and the things they want to have to keep surviving. This is sad because our needs can never be enough to become the essence of our existence. We were created to make impact but without a mind-set that permits us to seek for opportunities as we discern God’s burdens, we will never live to our fullest. We need to begin to think about what we will be remembered for when we are gone. We need to become intentional about leaving our mark in the sands of time. We need to begin to measure impact in terms of how much impact we are making to advance God’s Kingdom and unlock societal gratitude.
I hope you know that 2017 is bundle unit of time that is swiftly passing already. May God help us to be wise in making the best use of this year so that at the end, we can look back and be grateful for the many opportunities we have been able to convert into impact.
Blessed? Please have your say by sharing your thoughts in the comment section.
You matter to me always.
Happy New Year!