The Bare Soul - July 13, 2008
God's Opportunities

Colossians 4:5 - Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.

While out on a run the other day, I noticed a hawk intently soaring above but clearly following a tractor as it brush-hogged a grassy field. Surely, the bird of prey was waiting for that perfect moment when a frightened rabbit or mouse would come tearing out of its hiding place and into plain view of the raptor. It made me think also how the robins and starlings can't wait for me to finish mowing my backyard, as they are quick to take over. Opportunistic by nature, they take advantage of the mown grass and the ability to see creepy crawling things that are absolutely delicious to them.

All it takes is a little uncovering or exposure and the right set of eyes, and often the possibilities present themselves quite extraordinarily. Even as God has given birds the uncanny ability to see at great distances, there is often still the high grass and weeds that will give cover and hide their prey. However, once the cover has been destroyed, the keen eyes of those on the wing quickly move with determined force upon their booty. Too often, we can go along in our daily lives unaware of those around us even as a hawk or a falcon might not be aware of a rabbit or a mouse cowering under high grasses. We soar above the world and don't realize that there are others that are in need of our help. Our minds and our hearts can be covered by the "brush and the weeds" of this world, choking out any usefulness that we might have toward our fellow man. Truly, all of us who are in Christ Jesus have the eyes of our Lord if we would but use them. Often, it takes God to once again step in, clearing away the brush and brambles that we might see with clarity what He would have us to do.

When seeing hawks and falcons, I often think about my brother who is a licensed falconer. Through his 40+ years of "hawking", I have been a participant many times as he will take one of the birds out on a hunt. By planned purpose, he will take the bird to an area where he knows will be game, usually ducks. It's fascinating to watch as he "un-hoods" the bird and allows it to see its surroundings. The falcon will set itself up as the hunter and position itself accordingly in the sky above or on a nearby tree, because the falconer has brought it to a place of opportunity. There will come that moment of decision as the falcon sizes up its prey and takes the best opportunity to attack. The results are usually very good for the falcon and equally decisive for its prey.

In the former and latter analogy, God will similarly bring us to situations where we can be of most use to Him. Whether it is the proverbial mown field, or an area where He leads and guides us, He will make the opportunities if we will but heed. Surrendering our will is paramount in this endeavor as it is for a falcon with its falconer master. If a hawk or a falcon does not perform well for my brother, then he will "shelf" the bird and hunt one of his others. He wants the bird to be as interested in hunting as he is. Conversely, if we do not act on the opportunities then God will "shelf" us and use another. (Beware of not hearing His voice if He calls today. He will most assuredly call again, but "when" is always uncertain.) We must all be "hungry" for the work of the Lord and not be content with the pittance that we all give by our presence and our giving once a week in church. We must step out and be opportunistic, knowing that the field of humankind's souls are ripe and the harvesters are few. God will strip away every hiding place, encumbrance, and excuse for not seeing the world as He sees it, if we will but allow Him to move on our lives. He will then give us glorious opportunities to seize His work with passion and purpose, making the most of our time for assuredly the days are evil and there is much to be done.

Lord, make us all willing participants of your harvest. Opportunities abound as the fields are ripe, and the laborers are few. Allow us to put in the sickle of your love and bring those who are hurting into that hiding place under the shadow of Your wings. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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