I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Ecclesiastes 9 v 11
Timing and opportunity are the keys to success.
They are not capricious. They do not discriminate. They do not shortchange or rob you.
Every one receives the same allocation of 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute.
The only difference is how you choose to handle or mishandle your allotment. Some men will find a way to survive in the desert while others will starve to death in a fertile field. The thing that sets men apart is attitude. Your attitude in all circumstances will determine whether you emerge out of any situation intact, positive and victorious.
Do not be careless and cavalier with time.
Do not squander opportunity.
Each one is in short supply on the carousel or the ferris wheel of life.
Moreover, you only have one ticket to ride.
So you cannot be sure they will visit you again.
As the GOOD BOOK so aptly warns us, you must work while it is yet day for the night is coming when no man can work.
You must be watching, waiting, preparing for life as it comes at you suddenly and when you least expect it.
Rudyard Kipling reminds us in the poem called "If"--
If you can dream and not make dreams your master.
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.
If you can fill that unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds worth of distance run
Yours will be the earth's and what's in it
What's more you will be a man my son.
Consider once again the tale of the ten virgins. They were all pure and undefiled. They all had lamps at the ready. They all ostensibly were invited to the wedding feast.
Nevertheless, five of
them became lax and non-vigilant. In addition, they had not prepared for the
vicissitudes of life. They failed to bring additional oil to trim their lamps in
case the bridegroom delayed his appearance. Furthermore, they fell asleep and
allowed their lamps to burn out. Then, just as with life, more often than not,
a cry is heard in the middle of the night.
The bridegroom is coming. Rudely awakened from their slumber, they discover to their consternation that their lamps have died out. They begged for some fuel from the five wise virgins. They were refused, thus learning a cruel lesson of life. Even though someone may be willing to help you, he or she may not have enough to spare at the time you need it. You must store up for a rainy day. They were instructed to go into the village and purchase the necessary item. After so doing, they returned and were refused entry. They had arrived too late and the door was already locked with nobody else being admitted. In that moment, they became thoroughly familiar with the sailor's axiom, "Time and tide waits for no man."
So, even though you have an invitation.
You know all the right people.
You possess the necessary qualifications.
You are in the correct place at the appropriate time.
You must be awake watching, looking and listening for opportunity because sometimes it walks, talks and knocks very softly.
Do not enter the arena of life with prejudice and preconceived notions. Time and chance may not come in garb suited to your taste. They may not match your idea of perfection and may cause you to step beyond your comfort zone. As I have told you before and remind you once again, there is a price and cost for everything. You must give to get.
Imagine for a moment that you are invited to football training camp for a tryout. The coach tells you that this is the only one. You have one time, one shot, one chance to make the team. This is your last time to make a first impression. This has been your dream and heart's desire for as long as you can remember. Opportunity and victory are within your grasp. They are so close that you can smell, feel and taste them.
Do you spend your
nights frequenting bars and strip clubs?. Do you waste your days sleeping until
2 o'clock in the afternoon only to repeat the same destructive pattern the next
No. You study game
plans until your head aches. You watch videotape until your eyes become red.
You remain long after official practice, after all the other players have
called it quits. You assault the merciless sleds and ruthless tackling dummies
with a vengeance. You wring every drop of sweat out of your exhausted body.
Then, you summon the courage to squeeze out a little more until your agonizing
soul screams, "Enough!"
Even though it is a long shot, you persist because this is important to you. You would expend so much time, energy and effort in a game that is so temporary and fleeting. Yet life that is so serious, so much more than a game, with eternal implications, you would choose to waste.
Think about that.
V. Knowles is a husband and father with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick.