Originally published in The Global Voice, Volume 14, Issue 2, 2016.
You can read the whole edition here.
Sometimes the difference between thriving and surviving is a gift called opportunity.
I call it a gift because an opportunity has to be given to someone - people need a chance. A chance to grow, to develop, to fail, to practice, to get better, to thrive.
In John 10:10b Jesus states, “I came that they may have life, and life abundantly.” Jesus emphasizes the quality of life that comes as a result of what he has to give. He calls it abundant life. Some folks are happy enough just to survive, but this denies the gift that comes through Jesus — opportunity to thrive.
As a community of believers, people who listen to Jesus and want to enact his will, we see that offering the gift that comes from Jesus —an abundant (thriving) life — commences with an opportunity.
Nadia Comaneci, an Olympic gymnast from the 1970s, who scored the first perfect 10, and seven total during her first Olympic games, would have never thrived in the way she did had she not been given the opportunity by her future coach Bela Corroli, who discovered her cartwheeling on a Romanian playground.
Vivien Thomas, the pioneer for open heart surgery, a college dropout, would have never gone on to perfect procedures that have saved so many lives had Alfred Blalock not given him an opportunity, taking him from his official position as a Vanderbilt janitor, to the surgical lab, all the way to Johns Hopkins University as a teacher to many of the nation’s lead surgeons.
Simon Peter would have never gone on to shepherd the first generation of believers in “the way” had it not been for Jesus who gave him an opportunity. He extended to him an invitation to become more than his job - to be more than a fisherman and become a fisher of men. The opportunity was afforded to him in both invitation, and provision, as Simon Peter was stunned with the catch of a boat full of fish.
In this edition of the Global Voice, we hope to show you how we’re involved in that same task — opportunity creation. We are giving people a chance, particularly those who, without this gift, would be preoccupied with the life-stealing task of survival. I thank God for his guidance and this mission to bring life in abundance to those in need. Enjoy reading, and thanks for helping us with this great task!