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Opportunity is the Blessing

April 23, 2008

Swedish version

My family watched a movie recently, Evan Almighty. It was a cute film, one I would strongly recommend. Morgan Freeman plays God and and Steve Carell a US congressman who is given the task from God to build an ark. I won’t tell you the whole plot, but suffice it to say that Evan runs in to some obstacles while starting the project. One of those is convincing his wife that he actually is acting under God’s command. She is a good woman but she simply does not understand him. So finally she takes the kids and drives off, leaving Evan alone with his work.

Then something happens. She meets God. Well… she doesn’t know it’s God, but he start a conversation with her. And the words he speaks affect her so deeply (of course) that she immediately turns around to go home to her husband. These are the words God tells her:

If someone prays for patience, does God give them patience? Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient?
If they pray for courage, does God give them courage, or does he give them the opportunity to be courageous?
If someone prayed for their family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm, fuzzy feelings? Or does he give them opportunities to love each other?

When I heard that I had to stop, rewind and look at it again. I was struck by the profoundness, yet simplicity of those word. I thought to myself: Yes, of course! Whatever we gain in life of real value, we gain through our experiences. So if God wants to bless us, sure, theoretically he could just send blessings our way without any effort on our part. But then we would loose the real blessing: the opportunity; meaning the work, effort, and experience associated with these important attributes (like patience, courage, and love).

For example, what good will it do if your heart was suddenly struck by a thunderbolt of love? Will you love become stronger? Maybe for a short time, yes, but then what? It’s like when people instantly fall head over heals in love. Most of them fall just as fast out of love. Why? Because there is nothing substantial there to hold their love together. What really matters are the opportunities given us to show love. And those moments can be big or small: saying “yes” at the alter – and meaning it; massaging a sore back; helping your wife with the diapers and dishes; communicating your feelings openly and honestly; carrying a crying baby at night so your loved one can sleep; and in Evan’s case… building an ark.

I learned a lesson that day, that I would not complain so much about the lack of this or that in my life. Instead I would be grateful for every single opportunity to do something about it. Because what is an opportunity, really? Isn’t it our very own chance to prove ourselves? Isn’t it a chance to plant that seed which will grow up to be that very fruit we wish to partake of in the future? Isn’t it our chance to create the surroundings we wish to live in.

Think of all the opportunities in life. Aren’t those the greatest blessings?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2008 17:08

    Wonderful! We will have to watch it now.🙂

  2. Linda NH permalink
    April 23, 2008 23:58

    Came to think of it; there was another movie some years ago, quite similar to this one – Bruce Almighty. I looked it up and “God” has a few interesting words to share from this movie as well:

    “Parting your soup is not a miracle, it’s a magic trick. A single mom who’s working two jobs and still finds time to take her kid to soccer practice, that’s a miracle. A teenager who says no to drugs and yes to an education, that’s a miracle. People want me to do everything for them, and what they don’t realize is – they have the power. You want to see a miracle, son? Be the miracle.”

    BE the miracle. We have the power within us, granted to us by God. He has given us the opportunities AND the power. Imagine that.

    Linda

  3. Coaster permalink
    April 23, 2008 20:50

    I saw that movie last year and I was actually very sceptical of it because I wondered if it was inappropriate in any way – I mean somebody playing God…. But I was really uplifted and it really made me wonder about. The excact scene you mentioned also made a very strong impression on me !
    The fact that God gives us opportunities in life is what makes us grow. It gives us the opportunity to choose the right and recieve the blessings and wisdom thereof.

    It also made me wonder:
    Would I have enough faith if MY husband recieved such a calling (like Noah). Do I have faith and do I stand by his side in his callings today – in the church and in the family.

    Now about that scene you mentioned
    Remember that “God” tells her that he commanded the animals to go together – male and female – into the ark. So she should go together with her husband into the ark, just like the animals.
    Compared to our every day life…It´s just the right way to do it. – Solve the problems together, enter every “ark” we are called to enter together, raise a family together, visit the temple together, etc. We need the support from each other, because together we can do all things. Man is not meant to be alone…. Like God created Eve to be with Adam on this earth.
    I think the real Noah and his wife (and his family) grew closer because they accepted his calling and sustained him as their leader.
    It´s pretty obvious – I love the story about Noah ! I loved the movie about Evan, too. I think we can learn a lot from it. Makes us see things in a different perspective.

  4. April 23, 2008 18:01

    DEAR LOUIS THANK YOU FOR THE WISE WORD.IT IS SO TRUE WHAT YOU WRITE, YESTERDAY I GOT A CARD FROM MY GRANDMOTHERS COUSIN I NORTHFIELD MN USA AND THE STAND THE WORDS.( YOU`VE DONE SO MUCH, YOU`VE COME SO FAR TO GROW INTO THE “YOU” YOU ARE, AND GOD WAS WITH YOU AS YOU GREW – HE HAS A SPECIAL PLAN FOR YOU. NOW THERE ARE CHOICES YOU MUST MAKE, WHICH WAY TO GO,WHICH PATH TO TAKE, AND GOD WILL GUIDE YOU AS YOU DO – HE HAS A SPECIAL PLAN FOR YOU ….. AND ALWAYS TROUGH THE COMING YEARS, YOU´LL KEEP EXPLORING NEW FRONTIERS, AND GOD WILL HELP TO SEE YOU TROUGH HE HAS A SPECIAL PLAN FOR YOU . AS YOU CONFIRM YOUR FAITH AND TAKE YOUR PLACE IN THE CHURCH FAMILY, MAY THE LORD`S GUIDANCE HELP YOU FOLLOW AND FULFILL HIS PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE. )BLESS FROM LENE MARIE HØGH

  5. Linda NH permalink
    April 23, 2008 15:43

    Wise words Louis🙂

    And they remind me of your post “Take control: Be a captain” some time back – which I liked very much.

    Obvious as it may be, we tend to forget in our everyday lives – to stop focusing on what we don’t have, and start looking for opportunities. Thanks for reminding me.

    Linda

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