Opportunity can only be grabbed from the front before it has past. Once it has past there is nothing to hold onto; it is lost. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
Strike while the iron is hot. Did you ever wonder what that means? The blacksmith heats his iron red-hot in the fiery forge. It requires time to heat the iron up and time for it to cool down once it is plunged into the cooling water. But, in between, is the single moment when the iron is perfectly ready, flexible enough, to be struck and pounded into the desired shape the blacksmith had in mind.
“Striking while the iron” is hot means that opportunity is fleeting and we are only given a few moments in time to effect changes in others that could last a lifetime. One fleeting moment and the opportunity has past.
Here’s the story. There was a man who, ousted from his profession for an indiscretion, took work as a hod carrier simply to put bread on the table. Near the end of the third week, he felt that he could take no more. “I’ll work till break time this morning,” he told himself, “and then that’s it. I’m going home. I just can’t handle any more of this.” A while later, he decided to finish out the morning and then leave at lunchtime. Shortly before noon, the foreman came around with paychecks. As he handed the man his envelope, he told him. “Hey, there’s a woman working in the front office who says she knows you. Says she takes care of your kids at church sometimes.” When the hod carrier opened his envelope, he found, along with his check, a handwritten note: “When one part of the body of Christ suffers, we all suffer with it. Just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you these days.” He stared at the note, astonished at God’s timing. He hadn’t even known the woman worked for this company. Here at his lowest hour, she had given him the courage to go on, to push another wheelbarrow of mortar up that ramp. (Dean Merrill, Another Chance, Zondervan, 1981, p. 138.)
Opportunity can only be grabbed from the front before it has past. Once it has past there is nothing to hold onto; it is lost. The Apostle Paul tells us, therefore, that we ought to “encourage one another and build each other up . . . (1 Thessalonians 5:11). When we see an opportunity to cheer someone up who is sad or lonely, we ought never to pass by and think that it might be better for someone else to do it. If we see it, it’s our job to hold. These opportunities become our responsibilities, not just possibilities. By the time we circle back to check the situation out, it may be too late. So, strike when the iron is hot. Don’t put off a deed of kindness or caring until tomorrow. Tomorrow is often too late to deal with the problems of the day. Don’t let opportunities of kindness pass you by. Grab on and hold on for the ride. Two people are thus blessed.
We pray. Heavenly Father, help us to find opportunities that can only be grabbed from the front before they have past. We ought to “encourage one another and build each other up. Remind us that it is our task to do that every day. When we see an opportunity to cheer someone up who is sad or lonely, remind us not to pass by and let someone else do it. These are our responsibilities, not just possibilities. Forgive us for putting off kindness or caring until tomorrow. Help us Lord to grab on and hold on for the ride. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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