I had to work this past Memorial Day. It was definitely something I wasn’t looking forward to. I needed the rest. Responsibilities, however, often come into play. The Foursquare Church was having its annual convention and I needed to man the booth for our company in the exhibit hall.
I have learned in these environments that the fruit is always on the end of the branch, meaning that the best opportunities never come in an easy fashion. They come late in day or when I am physically tired. There are no shortcuts to success. Therefore, I just knew from experience that something good would happen if I just carried out my assignment with excellence. You know what, I was right.
At approximately 6:00 PM, I had the privilege of meeting arguably the most successful church builder in America. What struck me was not his intelligence, his kind nature, his portfolio or even his impact on the Kingdom, though they were all significant. What struck me was how he got involved in serving churches.
To make a long story very short, a church where he used to pastor was destroyed when a furnace blew up due to a bad thermocouple. He was asked to rebuild the facility and the next thing he knew he was suddenly working on eight additional church projects as well. It was then that he started a company and the rest is history.
As I listened to his story, several questions began to challenge me –
- What themocouple is going bad today that you don’t even know about which will result in re-directing and changing your life forever in a positive way?
- What furnace just blew up?
- Who needs your help?
- How many more are just like them and have the same need?
- What is going on currently on the other side of town (or the country) that unbeknownst to you is going to unleash significant blessings in your life?
As leaders, we don’t have all the information. Success is largely determined by things we can control such as sweat equity and preparation. However, success also comes through discernment and being open to new opportunities and “inconveniences”. It is the chance meeting, the new book someone recommended, the random suggestion or the unexpected phone call that when properly leveraged can take your organization (or life) to the next level.
The enemy of Inconvenient Opportunity is marginalization and over-extension. If we are too busy to listen and be open to new ideas, that will limit our growth. If we don’t have the proper margin in our schedule or thinking, we will never be able to identify and take advantage of new opportunities.
Leaders, free up time in your schedule and create margin. I beg you, Blow Up A Furnace! (metaphorically speaking) Then utilize this margin to do something for the first time. Read a book from different genre. Listen to argument you don’t normally agree with. Go somewhere you’ve never been. Call an old friend. Develop a new skill. For all you know, it could change your life forever.