Make Every Opportunity Count

Blue hourglass

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

This is the theme I’ve chosen for 2015—making the most of every opportunity.

With 365 days in the year, and already a few consumed, what will I do with these days? Goal oriented, and often tunnel-visioned, I routinely shut out the world around me, and zero-in on the tasks at hand. Sure, I squander a few days, but more often, I simply let opportunities pass by, unaware of divine appointments, oblivious to seize-the-moment chances.

Time is a thief—it takes from you what you can never get back.

I feel the weight of that statement particularly this year because in a few months I will turn 60. Yikes! Milestone birthdays are a not-so-subtle reminder that the sands of time seep through relentlessly, with no plug, and no reversal mechanism. And most of my sand lies on the bottom half. With that acknowledged, I can either be discouraged or determined—I choose the latter.

Each year I print out my goals and tape a copy into my prayer book so I can pray through my goals regularly. This year I wrote MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY across the top, drew a pink box around it, and squiggle-underlined EVERY in orange. I intend my extra effort to cause me to pray more earnestly for wisdom each day, discernment in the many options before me, and spiritual antennas that alert me to surprise encounters that God sends my way.

What about you? I know I’m not alone in the battle of urgent versus important, distraction versus decision. Too many options send us into a default mode of doing nothing, or letting someone else pick up the slack. Let’s pray for each other this year—to be purposeful and careful with our time, cognizant that God has given us each assignments in his grand narrative, and that some one-shot opportunities close quickly. Life, a precious gift comprised of small moments, cannot be re-lived. We’ve got one chance to seize it. Let’s make the most of every opportunity.

I’d love to hear your theme verse for the year, or what God has laid on your heart for 2015.

15 comments to Make Every Opportunity Count

  • Cheryl Taylor

    Happy New Year Janet!

    The Holy Spirit is definitely on the same page with me! No surprise there. I have begun 2015 with this passsage stirring my heart, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (‭Romans‬ ‭13‬:‭11-14‬ NKJV) Indeed, my friends, let US walk wisely and make the most of EVERY opportunity we are given!

    Sorry, I rarely comment but I do read your blog all the time. LOVE it! It encourages me greatly. Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your ministry and what a blessing you are! 🙂

    My PRECEPT group is starting 1 Peter this year. I am going to work on memorizing it as we go along. Very Excited!

    • Hi Cheryl, so great to hear from you. And wow, great Romans verses to keep us focused. You are going to LOVE 1 Peter. It is still one of my favorites. Yes, of course they’re all my favorites but 1 Peter is so rich and for the time we’re living in, it speaks loud and clear. Press on dear friend.

    • Richie

      Hi Cheryl and Janet! I feel like we are meeting in an invisible realm. 🙂 You both are on the same page and, since I know you both are exceptional people, I want to get on your page, too. I think I will copy you both and try to make the most of every opportunity as well. Colossians 4 says “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” I’m in!

  • Warren Culwell

    Yep–I’ve got that passage on my mind too. I turned 60 last year–and it makes my heart rumble when I think of the ‘sand on the bottom.’ Taking that ‘wisdom’ seriously is a piece of my 2015 prayer! Keep reminding me.

    • Hey Warren, Yes birthdays are a sober reminder that time is fleeting by. But its better to be motivated than to just drift along oblivious to the ticking clock. Press on!

  • Amy Calvetti

    Your goal for this year comes at a good time for me. Today my husband had surgery to repair a stomach aneurism. Leading up to today I felt a deep sense of urgency to spend quality time with him. He is 20 years older than me so we can relate to your statement of most of the sand being on the bottom. The surgery went perfect, but he didn’t come out of the anesthetic very well. There is also concern about his kidney functions. He is in ICU tonight, but his O2 levels were up before I left for the night. I could feel God’s presence today while all this was going on. I cling to Romans 15:13 which says “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

    I don’t normally do resolutions, but in the back of my mind I had decided to make the most of every opportunity. Thank you Janet for sharing.

    • Amy, So glad you shared that with us. I’m praying right now for your husband and for you. May the peace of Christ fill your thoughts.

  • Kristy

    Hi Janet! I recently listened to your broadcast on Revive Our Hearts and I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear it! I’m a young wife and mom of two little ones (3yo and 1yo) and I have been so discouraged by my inconsistency in spending time in the Word since becoming a mom! My days are so busy, unpredictable, and I feel like almost every time I sit down to read I get interrupted about 15 times! I have been so dry and your series could not have come at a better time! I am so encouraged to begin memorizing scripture throughout the day now! What a great way to be in His Word constantly and to also fill my children’s minds and hearts with His truth! Thank you so much for sharing all that you have learned through your experiences in memorizing scripture! It is a blessing! I just ordered your book and can’t wait to read it! God bless you!

    • Hi Kristy, So glad to hear your story. And I hope you’ll keep coming back to our online community. We are memorizers in all stages of life and we encourage one another on the journey. Having little children is exhausting and full of interruptions but how did God plan for us to get to know him? He knows that many don’t have large pockets of time but we can meditate on His Word even while doing other things. Press on dear sister and let us know your joys and struggles. We’ll be here for you.

  • Kristy

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I will definitely keep coming back! I have started memorizing Psalm 1 today and have already been so blessed!

    • Hey Kristy, That’s awesome. Psalm 1 is a great place to start and it is so relevant today contrasting 2 kinds of influence. Proud of you!

  • Jackie

    Hi Janet. I recently heard you on Revive Our Hearts on Moody Radio in Chicago and your testimony has inspired me to start memorizing scripture. I am also getting your book “His Word In My Heart”. I am a mom of two wonderful boys ages 6 and 2. In this blog you write about being purposeful and careful with our time. I believe this is what God has laid in my heart for this year. I am very thankful to God that He has used you to inspire others to seek Him on a deeper level and not let life get in between our relationship with Him. Blessings.

    • Jackie, Thank you so much for your encouraging. I am a fellow struggler fighting the battle of wasted time and opportunities. It’s a new year and each new day is a fresh start. Keep us posted on your progress, we’re here to encourage each other.