“There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it” – 2 Samuel 23:20 NLT
A number of years ago while I was still pastoring, I taught a message on one of my favorite obscure men in the Bible– Benaiah!
Years later, Mark Batterson, wrote a book titled, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, writing about Benaiah and his many exploits. You would enjoy reading his book.
There is a fine line between faith and stupidity, and in my own life I sometimes wonder which is which! ☺
I must admit, from my perspective, chasing a lion down a snowy pit clearly falls on the side of stupidity! Sometimes, God’s perspective and mine are on opposite ends of the spectrum. However, Benaiah, not only captured an opportunity but he captured and killed a ferocious lion on a most in IN-opportune day… a snowy one!
To be successful in life we must capture opportunities.
Do you remember Blockbuster Video? At their peak in 2004, Blockbuster had sixty thousand employees, nine thousand stores worldwide, and an annual revenues of $5.9 billion. (Look to Christopher Harress, “The sad end of Blockbuster Video:…” International Business Times, December 5, 2013).
At the time, only 4% of homes in America had a broadband connection. But that number skyrocketed to 68% in 2010. In other words, the game changed, and the name of the game was video streaming.
Blockbuster ultimately filed for bankruptcy, but it didn’t have to end that way. If only they hadn’t turned down the opportunity to buy a DVD-mailing company called Netflix for $50 million in the year 2000. That amount of money might seem steep, but it represented three days of Blockbuster’s revenues. Netflix’s value now stands at over $32.9 billion, which is more than CBS. (Joseph Baxter, “Netflix Is Now Worth More Than CBS”).
Blockbuster missed an opportunity, and they are not alone. Yahoo turned down the opportunity to acquire Google, and Friendster turned down the opportunity to buy out Facebook. I listened to a Ted Talk titled Originals, where Adam Grant, the famous organizational psychologist tells the story of how he had the opportunity to invest in Warby Parker, a multimillion-dollar company that sells prescription lenses online. He turned down the opportunity. Why? If it was a good idea, it would have already been done! Besides who will purchase prescription glasses online? In five years time Warby Parker would be valued at more than $1 billion.
As Mark Batterson say’s in his book, Chase the Lion:
“In business language, it’s called opportunity cost.It’s the loss of potential gain when an opportunity isn’t seen and seized.”
Batterson continues; “But it is not just a forfeiture of possibilities; the collateral damage can be devastating. Counting the cost is a biblical principle but it doesn’t mean just the actual cost. That’s the easy part. The hard part is calculating the opportunity cost” (page 138).
Jesus Christ initiates His ministry by calling all His disciples to follow Him after first evaluating what it will take for them to be identified with Him.
And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost” – Luke 14:27-28 NLT
Generally speaking, we see only what we are looking for. If we’re looking for excuses, we will always find one. But the same is true for opportunities. If we look for them, we’ll find them all around us!
I must admit, it’s far less rewarding to count the cost than it is to envision what that cost-counting may reward us. The key to success in business, and in life, is an eye for opportunity. The truth is opportunity rarely knocks. You have to knock on it. And probably knock more than once or twice (“… knock and keep on knocking, and the door shall be opened to you” – Luke 11:9 Amplified Bible). This text is in the present imperative tense which points to continual, repeated action.
One of my strong motivations as a Christ-follower is to seize every opportunity so that I can help advance the Kingdom of God here on earth (Matthew 6:10) before I get to heaven.
Please consider the following verses. Will you determine today to capture the opportunities that are all around you?
“But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.” – 1 Corinthians 3:15 NLT
“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” – Ephesians 5:16 NLT
“Live wisely among those who are not believers and make the most of every opportunity.” – Colossians 4:5 NLT
Seek to pursue divine opportunities even at inopportune times…perhaps even on a snowy day!