Now, I can't tell you verbatim what this professional dancer told the student, but it was pretty inspirational. In fact, by the time she was finished she had ME wanting to take her class! (Thankfully for everyone involved, that didn't happen!) She encouraged the student to stay for the day. She told her that even if she was unable to dance, that just sitting and observing would be beneficial. She assured her that she would still learn and that she would grow as a dancer. She told her that her presence would be an encouragement to her fellow dancers. Above all, she told this young woman that as a dancer, every day for the rest of her life would be filled with decisions like this; opportunities to grow. She reminded her that dancing is hard; it hurts; it's tiring; it's stressful! But it's also rewarding. However she would only ever get out as much as she put in. In short she told her that day's opportunity would only come once. She could pass it up and lose it forever, or she could choose to make the very most of it. Then, having given her 2-cents-worth, she left the student and her mom to talk. Like I said, I thought it was a very inspirational pep talk! That's what made it so disappointing when, minutes later we watched as the student decided not to heed the pro's advice, and left for the day.
This reminded me of a couple of instances where the Apostle Paul encouraged his readers to make the most of every opportunity too. One is in Ephesians 5:15-16, and another is in Colossians 4:5. The same Greek word, (exagoradzo), is used in both of those places and it's a word that most frequently would have been used in the marketplace. It literally means to purchase something—especially to redeem it; to set it free. That's why some Bible versions have translated these verses to literally say "redeeming the time". However, Greek scholars tend to agree that in this context the meaning of exagoradzo is more like what we see in modern translations: "Make the most of every opportunity", or "Make the most of your time." Put conversely, you could state it this way: "Don't squander your opportunities!" Yet, as inspired as I was that day by the pep talk I overheard, I wonder how often I completely ignore this pep talk that was most definitely intended for me??
What about you? Are you making the most of every opportunity when it comes to your Christian walk? Do you make the most of opportunities to love? To serve the Lord Jesus? To share your faith? To testify about God? Heed the Apostle Paul's pep talk! Our days are filled with opportunities, and we ought to make the very most of them.
- Pastor Paul