Have you ever missed a “Golden Opportunity”? Perhaps it was job, an investment, a tip of a life-time, or the chance to get the best deal on something you always wanted. Whatever the opportunity was, you failed to spot it and believe it is now gone forever. If only you had seen the possibilities and had known then what you do now, the good fortune could have been yours.
When Apple went public in December of 1980 it sold for $22.00 per share. The stock has split three times since its first public offering, so on a split-adjusted basis the IPO share price was $2.75. If I had bought two hundred shares on that first day and kept them until today, I would have sixteen hundred shares. An original investment of $4,400 dollars would now be worth $968,000 dollars. I sure missed on that one!
Schools provide our children with a “Golden Opportunity”. Regardless of their background or history education gives young people a chance to improve themselves. Schooling is society’s formula for teaching our children the information they need for success. It also promotes discipline, commitment, and patience as our kids work through the various stages to adulthood.
This blueprint works only when children take advantage of the possibilities, however many do not and so they suffer the effects. They may see school as a bore, as an unnecessary evil intruding on their fun and free time. And so they argue, “Why do we need to learn geometry, history, or biology? We will never use it.” Many complain about the homework and refuse to study for their tests. Someone or something has to get through to them about the value of education, and that is where parents usually come in. But even good parents can sometimes fail to reach their children. Sadly, some young people do not learn the lesson until it is too late, and they often grow-up to regret their youthful idleness.
The idea of “Golden” reflects the potential importance and impact of choices in our lives. It refers to opportunities that can dramatically change who we are, what we become, and our quality of life. They may cover a series of decisions that eventually lead to success or a lone chance to choose the right option. I am not talking about what to eat tonight or which movie to go to, but rather those opportunities that help define us.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This is perhaps the best known statement of the Declaration of Independence and it affirms the right of everyone to seek happiness. However, it does not guarantee success, nor does it mean we have the same talents and good fortune to be equally successful. I am not an elite athlete, a CEO a large corporation, or the head of state for some country. Besides, if I had a dream to be any of these, my “Golden Opportunity” has not presented itself.
Even with a “Golden Opportunity” success depends on many issues, and some are beyond our control. For example others can derail us or we may not have the good fortune of being at the right place at the right time. You may work hard, but just not have the talent to succeed or someone may have more talented than you. So what good is an opportunity if you lose out due to events outside your power?
Even if life was perfect and I exceeded all of my expectations and wants, there is still something missing. This world can only satisfy one’s physical appetites and since man has an immortal soul he will always long for something more (Eccl. 1:14). God’s Word reveals what this something more is and it is the crown jewel of opportunities. I am talking about the salvation of our souls (Matt. 16:26). The Bible exposes our sins and makes known God’s love for us. It tells us about Jesus and His sacrifice. We also learn what He wants from us; the conditions for salvation and how to live faithfully.
A bonus for Christians is the Bible also tells us how to get the most out of this life (1 Peter 3:10-12). We find in its pages the recipe for peace and happiness while we live in a difficult place and time (Phil. 4:6-8). Can you think of a better opportunity than the one God gives us spiritually? It is the best of both worlds.
Another plus is that we are in complete control of our destiny (Acts 2:40). So no one can beat us out because they have greater talent. God judges each person based on what he does with his own ability (Matt. 25:14-30). We are not going to lose out because of some hidden opportunity. God has made His Will available to all people (Col. 1:23). We are not going to miss the opportunity because of a limited offering. God wants to save everyone and He has room enough in the Kingdom for all (2 Peter 3:9).
So then, what can keep us away from this “Golden Opportunity”? The answer is sin. I have sinned against God and therefore need His forgiveness (Rom. 3:23-26). I can reject or ignore His message of salvation (Acts 7:51-58). I can believe a lie and not take advantage of His power to save (2 Thess. 2:8-12). I can turn my back against Him and His grace even after becoming a Christian (Heb. 10:26-27). And if I can do all of these things, so can you. The truth is no one can afford to miss this “Golden Opportunity”.
– Terry Starling