Have you ever had one of those weeks that something lays on your heart and you “hear” it all throughout your week? Well, this week the whole idea of “opportunities” keeps grabbing my attention.  It started last Friday while out Christmas shopping. I overheard this lady on the radio tell a simplistic story of a missed opportunity that she had while out shopping with her daughter to get her new tennis shoes. She said that instead of grasping the good news that she in fact got to be the mother to this happy and healthy daughter who desired to play athletics in school, all she worried about was the price of the shoes and the stress of the shopping and the traffic. We all have the “right” to ponder on such things but we also have the choice to grab the opportunity in a positive way. After the fact, she realized her missed opportunity and told her daughter how much she treasures the gift getting to be her mom. Wouldn’t it be cool if we addressed this busy month with a heart full of gratitude? Then when I began this week’s study for the Companions class, the author talked about Mary’s wonderful  gift to Jesus when He showed up at her door looking so tired and troubled. Mary took the opportunity to welcome Him in her home and dropped to His feet to listen to him. She took her only gift that she had to offer which was a bottle of perfume that in today’s prices would be around $30,000 and poured it on His feet.  She gave all that she had to give. When reading Barclay’s commentary on this scripture, he wrote this about opportunities… it is a powerful lesson to be learned… “There is one great truth about life. There are some things which we can do almost anytime; and there are some things which we will never do, unless we grasp the chance to do them when it comes. So often we put it off; we will do it tomorrow; and then the impulse is gone, and the thing is never done. Life is an uncertain thing. Let us remember to do things now, for the chance so often never comes again, and the failure to do them, especially the failure to express love, brings the bitterest remorse of all.” Isn’t this cool?

I am glad that I took the opportunity to come to last night’s Advent and Christmas Carol Concert at Westminster. What a gift these choir members gave us in sharing the gift that the Lord has graciously placed in them!  You could tell that they genuinely  gave from their hearts and enjoyed singing together. The harmony brought me great joy.  What a gift! Thank you, thank you! Margaret Harrison and Karen Yarbro were great accompanists.  And get this, they raised $948 for Living Waters for the World!

So I challenge you this holiday season to grab at the many opportunities that we have here at church, with your family, and within the community. Whether it is worshipping with one another, attending the Children’s Christmas play on the 6th, getting involved with the Lakeshore Christmas party on the 10th, supporting the Heifer International Project, caroling with members on the 13th, making crafts together on the 16th, bell ringing with the Salvation Army, serving at Volunteer Ministry Center, creating wonderful family members, and helping out the needy  — we all should grab the opportunities when they come our way!


Renee Wiesehuegel