Missed Opportunities

Ever been asked an important question, and in place of a sensible or eloquent answer, you found gibberish pouring out of your mouth instead? You know the times I’m talking about. The times you kicked yourself for days. I hate to admit it, but it happened to me this past week — again.

Just before my writers meeting was about to start, the speaker for the evening, Therese Stenzel, sat down in front of me. With a few minutes to spare, she turned, introduced herself to me, and asked me what kind of writing I do. That’s when I started tripping over my tongue. I’ll spare you the sad details.

Since this is a common question at any writers’ gathering, you’d think I could give a smooth and ready answer. But this time I was caught off guard. My excuses? First, I’m still fairly new to mingling in writers’ circles; second, my brain seems to go on strike from time to time; and third (and probably mostly to blame), that same poor brain was already boggled from a long day of shopping (you know, always too much to do when I go to T-town, especially now that it’s time to add Christmas shopping to the mix).

Bottom line? I blew it. I missed an opportunity to clearly share what I’m doing in my writing life. Oh, I gave a partial, disjointed answer, but I failed to mention some of the things that are most important to me. I just hadn’t shifted gears. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the evening.

God’s word has something to say about being prepared. In speaking about preaching and being ready to give a needed word, Paul told Timothy to “be prepared in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). I think there’s a lesson there for us as well. We need to be ready all the time. Ready in our work lives, ready at home, ready to lend a helping hand, ready to share our faith. Sometimes we just need to be ready with a smile or a kind word.

And if we’re not ready? We’re going to miss opportunities. Many of them much more important than the one I missed the other night.

If you’re like me, you’ve missed opportunities, too. Let’s quit kicking ourselves over the ones that got away and do our best to be prepared for the ones yet to come. Let’s be ready.

“…Always be prepared to give an answer to every one who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” 1 Peter 3:15

*p.s. We have an opportunity to vote on Tuesday — let’s not miss that!

**p.p.s. The leaves are finally turning their fall colors in our neck of the woods. Love it!

**Flickr photo by Alex Bellink, Creative Commons License


  1. Man, can I ever relate to this!! Not that it’s something I’m proud of. :o)

    I recently had a HUGE missed opportunity, mumbling and bumbling ALL OVER my words. But, you’re right – there is no reason to ruminate; what’s done (or not done well) is done.

    Praying for preparedness in my next golden opportunity!


  2. OK…so in one paragraph, tell me what kind of writing you do. Here’s your golden opportunity. I’d love to know.


  3. Elaine, thanks for giving me another opportunity :) I’ll keep it to one paragraph — but it’s gonna be long! :)

    My brand statement “Refreshing Spirits, Nourishing Souls” pretty much sums up what I try to do with my writing. I write a variety of non-fiction material, including articles, essays, reflections, and devotions on spiritual and family topics. I’m also working on some book projects — a devotional gift book, a reflections-type gift book that will also appeal to a general market, and a Bible study. I write some occasional poetry as well. In fact, Blue Mountain Arts has used some of my work on their greeting cards and in their gift book anthologies.

    The source of it all? God. He is the One who gives me the words. I just feel lucky that He’s called me to write.

  4. Well said, Cheryl. Next time, you’ll be ready. :-)

    But I could SO relate to your post. Sometimes, it seems my life is a continual verbal mess-up! Aren’t you glad God always gives us more chances?

  5. OH! That comment was from me! I forgot I was signed in to another account.

    Just me.


  6. Renae, you sure had me wondering who “winners by losing…” was :)

    Yes, our God is the God of second (and third and fourth…) chances. So thankful His mercies are new every morning!

  7. Kicking ourselves for lost opportunities is to do, but so opposite of what the Bible says to do. Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

  8. This is so true! We’ve all been there and it’s never fun at the time. I loved your point about getting over past failures and getting ready for the future!


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