We always hope for good things to happen. In fact we anticipate them. That means we look forward to the event happening. In the meantime we wait with great expectation.
And then the opportunity we had waited for with great anticipation arrives. We then say that finally the great moment has arrived.
But the excitement is short-lived as far as many are concerned. This is because they were unprepared to meet and make the most use of the opportunity when it came. This is a sad mistake that repeats itself in the life of many people.
And opportunities don’t come often. Sometimes a lost opportunity never returns. And when you find that out it will lead to dejection and disappointment.
The Bible gives us two instances through which we can learn of this pattern.
Example 1: The Loved Woman (Song Of Songs 5:2 to 8)
The woman in this love poem is sleeping. Yet her heart is awake. It clearly tells us that she was anticipating someone. Subsequent verses tell us that she was anticipating her lover. That is why even when she slept her heart was awake.
Then she heard her lover knocking at the door. He tells her that his head is drenched with dew and his hair with the dampness of the night. So he calls her sweet names and requests his beloved to open the door for him.
But the woman was caught in a dilemma. She was willing to open the door. But she had already taken off her robe when she went to bed. She had also washed her feet. So naturally she wondered whether she should get up and put on her robes. Also she would dirty her feet if she should now walk up to the door.
Her dilemma was soon solved by the insistent attempts by her lover to open the latch of the door. She felt her heart pounding within her in anticipation of meeting her lover. So she decided to get up and open the door for her lover.
But when she opened the door she found that her lover had left. She was a bit too late in reacting to her lover’s knock at the door. And her anticipation quickly turned to disappointment. Her heart sank within her.
She tried looking for him. She shouted his name but no answer came. As she went around seeking her lover the watchmen of the city found her and beat her and bruised her and took her cloak. Then she called out to some other women to tell her lover if they find him that she was faint with love.
We find here a pattern emerge: We find the woman waiting in anticipation. She was expecting her lover. Though she had gone to bed; she was not asleep. This was because she was hoping that her lover would come. But when the opportunity came and her lover knocked she was found unprepared. Her anticipation was not enough.
If she was so sure about of her lover coming to her she should have been ready. But sadly she was not. And later when she tried to find him out she was wounded and she couldn’t find him. This led to big disappointment and dejection. So we find here the pattern of Anticipation » Opportunity » Unprepared » Dejection.
Example 2: The Five Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1 to 13)
This is a parable of Jesus. He tells us about ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. There were five wise and five foolish virgins in this group. The five wise virgins took oil in jars with them. This was because they did not know exactly when the bridegroom would be coming. But the foolish virgins didn’t think much about that. So they did not carry oil with them.
The bridegroom took a long time in coming. So wearied by their waiting the virgins became drowsy and fell asleep. And when it became midnight they cry rang out that the bridegroom had arrived. And everyone was asked to come out and meet him.
The virgins, all of them, woke up and trimmed their lamps. But then the five foolish virgins found out that their lamps were going out because their oil supply had been exhausted. So they asked the five wise virgins to give them some of their oil. They refused to give it saying that if they gave it to them; there may not be enough for both of them. The wise virgins also advised the foolish virgins to go out to those who sell oil and buy some oil.
They went on their way to buy the oil as advised. But while they were on their way the bridegroom arrived. Only the wise virgins who were ready and prepared went in with him to the wedding feast. When they had gone in the door was shut.
Afterwards, the five foolish virgins, who had gone to buy oil came back. They knocked on the door and asked the bridegroom to open the door for them. Yet the bridegroom replied that he did not know them. So they were kept away from the feast and the joy.
We find here a similar pattern emerge. The five foolish virgins also anticipated the coming of the bridegroom along with the five wise virgins. They expected his coming though they did not know when he would come. But when the opportunity came for them to receive the bridegroom they found that their oil supply was not enough.
And nobody else would share it with them because if they did they would lose their opportunity. The opportunity when it came found them unprepared. Finally when they came back after buying more oil they were rejected by the bridegroom. This led to big disappointment and rejection. So we find here the pattern of Anticipation » Opportunity » Unprepared » Dejection.
We need to be excited about good things coming our way. In fact, we need to expect them and anticipate their occurrence. In this area most of us are very good. But one thing that we need to learn is that mere excitement is not enough to meet the opportunity when it comes.
This is because we cannot say when an opportunity is going to knock. Sometimes it might come when we least expect it. Sometimes it might be delayed more than we had anticipated. But the most important thing is to keep ourselves ready to answer the knock of opportunity when it comes.
For that you need to be prepared. Are you prepared today? Preparation might mean being ready to act quickly. We find that the woman was not ready to act quickly when her lover came. A slight hesitation found her missing her opportunity. Preparation might also mean that you have enough resources kept ready with you to last through your waiting period and even beyond that. We find that the five foolish virgins did not care enough to have enough supply of oil with them to last through the waiting period.
And in both cases we found that their later efforts did not meet with success. The woman could not find her lover and the foolish virgins were not admitted to the feast. So not acting at the right moment and not having the right resources could make you miss your opportunity.
It might never come again especially with relation to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ; where you don’t have a second opportunity. Though you anticipate opportunities, when it comes may they not find you unprepared, or else you will be disappointed and dejected.