Turning an Inconvenience Into an Opportunity
Make Your Life Matter No Matter What – Turning an Inconvenience Into an Opportunity
“Welcome to the 1800’s.” My words dripped with sarcasm and a bit of delight. As my kids sat stunned from the realization that no electricity meant no internet, I lit a hazelnut candle and settled into the unexpected.
Out of the blue, our electricity went out this past Tuesday night. No storm, no warning, no reason. I later discovered that a transformer had caught on fire, damaging power lines. Since my husband was out of the country, the loss of electricity added an element of anxiety, but we sat expectantly, awaiting the power to come on at any moment.
Things shifted a bit when I texted a friend who lives in our neighborhood and she shared that power would most likely be out throughout the night. Once my kids recovered from the initial shock, an inconvenience turned into an opportunity.
The thick darkness forced us all into the shared space of our sectional sofa. Over candlelight and belly laughter, we huddled under our fuzzy, pale blue blanket.
“Hey!” my daughter’s countenance lit up with excitement. “Let’s watch funny videos of Dad.”
10 days in Israel provided ample motivation for us to see the face and hear the voice of the husband and dad we all missed. I laughed until my sides hurt watching encouraging and hilarious videos my husband had sent throughout the year to my daughter while she was away at college. I had never seen most of these treasured gems, and I wondered if I would have ever had the opportunity without the inconvenience of the loss of our electricity.
Life has returned to the blur of activity one might expect from a household filled with full time ministry and two older teenagers. But I’m savoring the precious moments of that night, stolen away from the flurry of harried schedules and the undertow of the Internet. I’m grateful for a few memorable hours snuggled together in one room with one purpose…to be fully present and embrace the unexpected.
Usually I bristle at inconveniences. After all, they’re so, well, inconvenient. I have things to cross off my to do list and places to be and problems to solve.
But those candlelit hours without power reminded me of the power of slowing down and allowing an inconvenience to become an opportunity.
Sure, we fumbled to find our way with our phone flashlights and struggled to keep enough phone charge to set an alarm, but we seized the opportunity afforded to us by the inconvenience.
Perhaps you’re like me and you’d just as soon sidestep inconvenience. However, we can choose to “Make Our Lives Matter No Matter What” when we turn inconvenience into an opportunity. When you hit a snag in the checkout line, find the window of opportunity to encourage your cashier. When you get interrupted at work by that needy co-worker, find the window of opportunity to hear them out. When you trip over toy trucks and stuffed animals, find the window of opportunity to sit cross legged on the floor with the beloved children they belong to. When you’re putting away a mountain of dirty dishes left by a houseful of teenagers, find the window of opportunity to continue making your home a place your teenagers want to be.
See…inconvenience is all about perspective. Jesus was often inconvenienced…
- going out of His way to change the life of a broken Samaritan woman…
- stopping in the midst of a pressing crowd to heal the wounds of a bleeding woman…
- Delaying the processional into town to have dinner with a scorned tax collector named Zaccheus…
Jesus understood that what the world deemed as an inconvenience, He saw as a window of opportunity. It’s all in our perspective.
This week, I’m actually praying a little inconvenience comes your way…so that you can ask for God’s perspective and find the window of opportunity. We can’t always control the downed power lines of life…but we can control how we choose to mine the opportunity out of every inconvenience.
Be on the lookout this week for opportunity disguised as inconvenience. You might just catch a window to create a sacred moment and a lasting memory. Take a deep breath, light a candle, and settle into the beauty of the unexpected.
Make Your Life Matter No Matter What
Leave me a comment! What inconvenience tends to bug you most? How can you seize the window of opportunity?