It is difficult to make the most of every opportunity when we worry about the future. It is difficult to make the most of every opportunity when we spend time reliving the past.
Wisdom requires that we be present, that we show up—not in a perfunctory way but in a fully engaged way that reveals our understanding of the Lord’s will. The wise are awake to the presence of Christ in world around them. Ephesians 5:14 calls to us, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Today’s passage does not mean that we have to squeeze every last ounce of juice out of life or else we’ve wasted it. We could expend so much energy squeezing that we never taste or savor or admire! Rather than “making the most of every opportunity” by measuring how much we accomplish, we can mark our time by how we seek to understand God’s will. Production and achievement don’t necessarily indicate that we’re living well. Even Jesus rested, prayed, and broke bread with his disciples. He could have spent every spare moment healing others, but his more reflective actions show us another way to make the most of our time.
Making the most of our time is unique to each opportunity—sometimes we have the opportunity to be silent, sometimes the opportunity to speak. We can take the time to rest well when we are given the opportunity. Seeking to understand the Lord’s will helps us discern the way to make the most of every opportunity: whether to rest or to work, to play or to create.
O God of opportunity and giver of choices, help me discern your will. Free me from enslavement to automatic impulses and unexamined habits. Grant me the freedom to be fully alive. Grant me wisdom. Amen.
If you could ask God for one thing, what would it be? God offered this chance to Solomon, and the king asked for wisdom to rule God’s people well. God honored this request by giving Solomon many other gifts too, as long as the king followed God’s ways. (Later on, unfortunately, Solomon lost his way.) The psalmist tells us that wisdom begins with understanding who we are and who God is. Ephesians addresses practical implications of wise living: follow the will of the Lord, be filled with the Spirit, encourage one another, and be grateful to God. The Gospel passage continues Jesus’ metaphorical description of himself as the bread of heaven. Here Jesus anticipates the sacrament of Communion, in which we partake of his body and blood by faith.
• Read 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14. Why are you afraid to ask God to meet your needs or show you your call?
• Read Psalm 111. What actions dominate your quest for God? Do you remember to stop and delight in God’s love for you?
• Read Ephesians 5:15-20. How do you make the most of your time with God? How do you show others that you are filled with the Spirit?
• Read John 6:51-58. In Communion we recall Jesus’ offering of his body and blood. How has that concept been a stumbling block to you?
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