Every Inconvenient Opportunity

by Sarah Langness

Editor’s note:  This post was written on April 8.

I really don’t like driving on snowy, icy, wind-blown roads. Therefore, I am still here in Sioux Falls rather than in Fargo on my way home to Beulah. I probably could have made it to Fargo today, but I decided that if things got ugly in North Dakota, I’d rather be stuck in Sioux Falls at my parent’s house than in Fargo. So here I am. To be honest, I really want to be home. I would love to cook at my stove and wash my dishes. To put my baby boy to bed in his own, real bed instead of a Pack ‘N Play. To see my husband and give him a hug. But home is 500-some miles away. And there’s a snowstorm looking like it’s going to keep me here until potentially Thursday.

So, I decided to make the most of this opportunity. To go visit my grandparents now instead of planning on doing it this summer because I don’t know how much time we’ve got left. To maybe look up some friends in the area simply because I’ve got time and relationships are important. To let my little man have these extra bonding days with his grandparents. Even though I am looking forward to home, I’ve got to do something and be faithful with this time I have here in Sioux Falls. I need to do the same spiritually as well.

Sometimes, instead of making the most of the time I have here and now, I am simply looking ahead, to our eternal home. Like when I consider world events. I hope and pray that Jesus will come back soon. I would love for my little man to be protected from so much of the evil happening in the world; to witness the coming of Christ. And I think that as believers, we are to look forward to His coming and prepare for it. But sometimes, it’s easy for us to forget to work while we’re here. To be fruitful for His kingdom. To make His name known to people and in places where His name hasn’t been heard. To make disciples.

“But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me . . . But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is much more necessary for your sake.”  Philippians 1:22-23   (NASB)

While we wait for His coming, while we live on in the flesh – we’ve got work to do. It won’t be finished until He calls us home. May we be a body who is busy about His work, doing what He has called us to do, making the most of every opportunity — even those that seem to inconvenience us.

“So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”  Galatians 6:10   (NASB)

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Time Is Not On My Side

by Sarah Langness

I’ve never been a big fan of change. I didn’t like that year when my brother lived in Florida, over 1800 miles from me in Fargo. That stunk. I also didn’t like the change that came with moving out to western North Dakota. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade being married to Jordan for anything; but when your closest friends are a minimum of 250 miles away, others 500 miles away – it’s tough. But if I could do it all again, there would be things I would change in the change. Like when I moved out to Beulah, I wouldn’t have waited to invest in friendships, in relationships. Because you know what? Time is not on my side.

Jenna was married the same summer that I was. She and her husband live up the street. For the past three and a half years, I could walk up to her house and count the other houses I passed on two hands. But ya know what? I wasted a lot of time in the last three and a half years. Maybe it’s because I had this faulty thinking of a newlywed who believed the only friend they needed was their spouse. Maybe it’s because I thought the friends I had from AFLBS were so great I didn’t need any other friends. Maybe it’s because I felt like a scared middle schooler wanting the cool girl to be her friend. I don’t know. But it wasn’t until this last year that my friendship with Jenna really seemed to take root and grow.

And now, Jenna’s moving.

I hate that I wasted that time. If I could go back to 2009, I would change a lot of things over the course of the next three years. I wouldn’t take for granted that such a good friend would live so near. But unfortunately, I can’t go back. I can only make use of the time that I have now. I can only make better investments in friendships now. I can only be bold and intentional in creating new relationships now.

So that young couple we met the other night? I guess I shouldn’t just keep her number in my phone – I should call her, text her, have a play-date with her. Our neighbors across the street? I shouldn’t just wish I knew them – I should bring over some cookies, invite them to our place for a game night. That family from church who always seems to encourage me? I shouldn’t just think about how grateful I am for them – I should tell them, thank them for being a blessing.

” …[make] the most of every opportunity, for the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:16

“So then while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” – Galatians 6:10

It’s too easy to think that we’ve got time. So we wait to invest, wait to engage, wait to bless. But in waiting, we waste so much. Because you know what? Time is not on our side.