Making the Most of our Opportunities
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn‘t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done!
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.’ Hamilton Wright Mabie writes:
‘The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence and educational advantages; the question is what he will do with the things he has…’
I came across this article about a man who did just that … used what he had.
One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.
She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console colour TV was delivered to his home. A note was attached; it read:
“Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away… God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.”
Mrs. Nat King Cole.
I love that story, in fact I love every story of people taking small steps to help others. I agree with Henry Drummond when he wrote, ‘As you look back on your life, the moments that stand out are always the ones when you did things for others’.
In Luke 6:31 we find a verse that has become known as the golden rule; ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’
Can you imagine what this world would look like if we all lived like this? But I am conscious that these important moments to help others rarely come at a convenient time. It probably didn’t for the young man in the story, he probably ended up being late, but I guess he never regretted that act of kindness. So as we head off into another year can we help each other look out for the opportunities that come along and then act on them? They are likely to be very small, insignificant even but who knows these little acts may turn out to be game changers for those we help and life transforming for us who do the helping.
Happy New Year,