Wisdom Makes the Most of Every Opportunity
By Lisa Sharma
My husband and I have had the joy and privilege or being trained in the ministry and mentored by Wyndham and Jeanie for many years. They have seen us through and helped us during the early years of our marriage and our time with young children at home. They have stayed close friends as we ventured on to new ministry roles in other churches and on into new stages of life with our children- the teen years! So much of what we have learned about serving in the ministry and about marriage and parenting came directly from their wisdom and advice through the years.
At a recent party celebrating Wyndham’s retirement from the ministry and honoring his kingdom-wide impact, I laughed heartily along with so many of Wyndham’s friends and family, as we watched his son Sam portray Wyndham in a hilarious skit. Sam accurately portrayed Wyndham’s ability to relax and enjoy the moment, while out fishing or watching the Patriots, always knowing the perfect time for having fun or an opportunity for a word aptly spoken.
Being on the more serious side myself, I have often wondered how Wyndham was able to relax and put the stress of life behind so easily, and still be able to have such a profound impact on everyone around him. How is it possible, with the pressures and responsibilities he bears, for him to still have time for hours of fun and relaxation? How is he able to enjoy life to the full and reflect the joy of the Lord and still accomplish so much? After reflecting on how Wyndham trained us, and observing the way he helps and guides others, I believe I found my answer. Wyndham follows Paul’s advice in Ephesians 5:15 to “make the most of every opportunity.”
So often I miss opportunities to encourage others because of my selfishness – I’m just not thinking about it. Wyndham doesn’t miss those opportunities. If encouragement is needed, he gives it generously, through a scripture, a word of praise or just expressing belief in the other person. Sometimes my mind is elsewhere when I am with others and I can miss the chance to share the gospel with a hurting soul. Watching Wyndham share his faith and spread the seeds of the gospel at every opportunity, just going about his day, has trained me to make the most of every opportunity. Wyndham is present in each moment and always on the lookout for an opportunity to work God’s will and advance the kingdom with his words.
Many times I have not taken advantage of an opportunity to train or correct a person who needs guidance, most often because of my own insecurity and conflict-avoiding propensities. As I reflect on the many times I have sat down to learn from Wyndham, or even just to spend time together, if something needed to be said, Wyndham never minced words. He said what I needed to hear each time, never sugar-coating things, but always speaking clearly, directly, but gently. Wyndham’s confidence and courage to face conflict when needed have allowed him to have a maximum impact in the lives of others in a short amount of time, allowing time to enjoy the life God has given him, life to the full! Even today, when I feel insecurity rising up in my heart, I often think of how Wyndham would fearlessly handle the situation and it puts courage in my own heart.
How much time do we waste by avoiding opportunities and not saying the things we should? How often do we spend unnecessary words skirting around an issue when being direct could have accomplished God’s will so much sooner? Wyndham’s ability to make the most of every opportunity when speaking with others also allows him to also make the most of opportunities God gave him to enjoy life! We don’t have to choose between living a life of impact and living a life full of joy, fun and great memories – we can have both if we learn Wyndham’s secret of making the most of every opportunity!
Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise,
16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.