An Opportunity from God

Our time on earth and our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships, and resources are all gifts from God. We are stewards of whatever God gives us.

We are to cultivate the gifts and abilities that God has entrusted into our care. We are to keep our hearts aflame, grow our character and personality, and broaden our experiences so we will be effective in our service. Paul told the Philippians in chapter 1:9, “And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.” God shaped us all for a purpose, and he expects us to make the most of what we’ve been given.

So…what does this have to do with shaving my head? How has it has affected me, my interactions with others, and how others see me?

You see, many of my friends organize, volunteer, and participate in a Terry Fox run held in Scarborough. There was a twelve-year-old at our church with beautiful red head who decided to shave his head and raised over a thousand dollars. I was asked (jokingly, I thought) how much it would take for me to shave my head. Off the top of my head I said $500.

Next day, Sunday morning at church, I was told that over $700 had been raised to support me. No pressure, really.

I had just finished a book called Experiencing God and one of the ideas that stayed with me was, “God himself is the one who initiates your involvement in his work. He does not ask you to dream up something you can do for him. God will give you a keen sensitivity to circumstances.”

So, here I am asking myself if this is a way that I am to grow in character? That same day as I was driving someone home, I mentioned this challenge to a friend. She said she couldn’t see me doing this as my hair was important to the way people see me.

Now I have often used the “dumb blonde” approach when it suited me in business to throw colleagues off my plans and maybe, occasionally, in my personal life when I wanted something. My friend’s comment hit home and I made my decision, YES.

So, how have I grown in character? Well, I have no problem visiting or speaking to cancer patients. Although I don’t have this devastating disease, I feel an empathy that allows me to connect rather than simply being emotional during a visit. I still don’t go out seeking those with cancer, but I don’t run the other way.

What about broaden my experiences? I have learned how others who didn’t know my situation have reacted. Some have ignored the scarf and pretended nothing had changed; others have avoided me, not knowing what to say. I experienced how difficult it must be for those with cancer to have normal relationships with friends who, by these reactions, are actually isolating the person with cancer.

But I also experienced those who just know the right thing to say and address the issue. This gives a person the opportunity to open up sometimes with their fears, which, in turn, gives we believers the offer of prayer. A neighbour of mine came to my door with a wig that she wore for over a year when she was undergoing chemo. I didn’t even know she had cancer!

Many have said how brave I was, that they could never do it. Well, since God knows what’s best for us, we should gratefully accept the way he has fashioned us. The Bible says in Romans 9:20-21, “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”

God may give you something great or a small task, like me. Great opportunities often disguise themselves in small tasks. Little things in life determine the big things. Do the not-so-great stuff, and God will assign you whatever he wants you to do. There will always be more people willing to do great things for God than there are people willing to do the little things. The race to be leader is crowded but the field is wide open for those willing to be servants.

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