I stopped to get gas today - at a gas station I've never been to - in a part of town I rarely visit. As I was filling the tank a girl approached. The 17-year-old girl was wearing pajamas and no shoes. She asked to borrow my phone and was unable to reach anyone to pick her up. I discovered that she had been in the hospital followed by a day in jail for not meeting her probation requirements.
While she was on the phone - before I knew her age or story - I prayed that God would give me wisdom and that I wouldn't miss an opportunity because of inconvenience or fear.
An opportunity for what?
I don't know exactly. Probably not the answer you were looking for and to be quite honest it wasn't the answer I was looking for either. After driving Tanya 20 minutes in the opposite direction I was originally headed and dropping her off at her aunt's house, I asked myself a question: What was I hoping to gain by helping Tanya? What opportunity did I not want to miss?
I have discovered many things in my quest to live an extraordinary life. One of those is that it is not the specific things we do that make a life extraordinary, but rather my obedience to God and my response to the opportunities I encounter. The reality is that I don't know what God has for me or will request of me around the next corner, but I do know that I don't want to miss it because I was unwilling to help a shoeless girl get across town. It's easy to show up for the big opportunities and recognition, but God demands more for me and my desire to live an extraordinary life. He wants my heart and attitude in all situations - to live extraordinary when no one is watching. To live extraordinary when the only one watching is a 17-year-old girl who just got out of jail.
So what is the opportunity I don't want to miss? The opportunity that I can't even see. The encounter around the next corner that changes a life, a family, a community, a nation or a world - I want to be ready.
Are you embracing the opportunities you face, big and small? Every encounter is a piece of the story and a step in the journey of an extraordinary life.