Opportunity Comes to Pass—Not to Pause
"For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: 'The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.'"1
In a speech in August of last year a well-known woman of color shared the following: "A little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham—the most segregated big city in America," she said. "Her parents can't take her to a movie theater or a restaurant, but they make her believe that even though she can't have a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter, she can be President of the United States. And she becomes the Secretary of State [of the USA]."2
The speaker's name? Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State, a committed woman who knows first-hand the values that make a nation exceptional and what it means to live the American Dream!
From time to time I receive requests from overseas young people who want me to help finance them to come to America and receive a college education. And how do I help them? I do it by telling my story as I came from humble beginnings in Australia. My father made me quit school at the age of 13 and work full–time, insisting that I give every penny I earned to help support our family of four siblings.
Did I become resentful of other kids whose parents allowed them to go to high school? No. I believed in hard work and always worked diligently. By age 15 I was put in charge of a department where I worked in a radio factory. By age 16, while working full time, to learn a trade I put myself through a five-year, part-time course at a technical college. When I felt called to Christian ministry and wanted to come to the U.S. for training, I never asked nor received a penny from anyone to help me. All I prayed for was that God would give me enough work so I could earn all I needed to come to America to study, and that when I got here that He would help me to find part-time work so I could pay my way through college. God answered these prayers. I never lacked finding work and accepted any type of work I could get … including scrubbing floors and more. In the summer time I worked three jobs at once—one full-time and two part-time—seven days a week.
Sadly today, however, we are living in an ever-increasing entitlement society where too many believe that the world owes them a living and where too many government leaders are supporting this societal-self-destructive way of life. At the local pier where I live there is a notice that says. "Don't feed the birds. It will make them over-dependent so that they will become unable to take care of themselves."
Yes, I believe in helping those who genuinely cannot help themselves (including those who simply cannot find any kind of work), but when we do for others what they can and need to do for themselves, we are NOT helping them, but keeping them over-dependent, immature and irresponsible.
Remember that opportunity comes to those who prepare themselves and are ready for it when it appears! They know that it comes to pass—not to pause. As basketball coach, Bobby Knight, stated, "The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to realize that while I was not responsible for my initial background, I am totally responsible for what I become and for what I do with my life. Deliver me from the sin of expecting others to be responsible for me and help me to prepare myself for all opportunities that come my way. And help me to live a fruitful and productive life and always do so for your glory. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NIV).