“You’re never guaranteed about next year. People ask what you think of next season, you have to seize the opportunities when they’re in front of you.” – Brett Favre
Having watched quite a bit of football, I have come to the following conclusion about prevent defenses: it prevents you from winning the game. Somehow it seems playing it safe, playing without risks, is the surest way to lose the game. The defense becomes vanilla, unimaginative, and does not take advantage of the opportunities the short clock provides them.
God does not want us to play it safe. In fact, the life of a Christian is an adventure. The journey with God is full of surprises. It is based on the fact that you never know what is around the next bend. Nor do you know that in the next minute you will have the opportunity to change your life or someone else’s life for all eternity. The most important decisions of our lives will require us to stop being invisible and risk becoming visible. A little dramatic? Maybe. But, we must never underestimate the importance of one moment, one word, one deed in the life of another human being. And these moments seldom come at a convenient time and they never come if we tend to stand on the sidelines.
Basically, we can either seize the moment to give of ourselves, or to walk on the other side of the road as we learned in the parable of the good Samaritan. Seizing the moment is simply stepping up and God stepping in. How often do we start the day with this question: What can I do today to make a difference in the world? Like the prevent defense, if we don’t seize these defining moments, we will miss the opportunities that come with them. And those opportunities can be anything from listening, to praying, to giving somebody a ride to work, to buying some groceries.
Seizing these moments is not simply about opportunity, it’s about the kind of life you live as a result of the Christian you are becoming. The early disciples in the book of Acts seized the moment. Acts 16 tells the story of three very different individuals that God saves in very different circumstances. The conversion of Lydia and her family, the conversion of the Philippian jailer and his household, and the casting out of the demon in a slave girl, are three different yet defining moments. I encourage you to read Acts 16 and see how Paul and Barnabas seized the opportunities that God provided for them.
1. How would you rate your ability to recognize and act on defining moments?
2. From your experience, do seizing the moment ever fit the script and are they usually outside the box?
3. Write several defining moments that changed your life because you saw it and acted on them. Write several defining moments that you probably missed and the consequences.
4. How does your personality impact your ability to seize the moment?
5. Pray and ask God to open your eyes to the opportunities that He presents to you and then pray for the wisdom on how to seize the moment to give this Christmas season.