• 52°

When opportunity knocks

By Judith Victoria Hensley

Plain Thoughts

When opportunity knocks on my door, I don’t want to have a sign out that says, “Nobody Home!”

The difficulty is trying to figure out what is actually an opportunity and what is someone else’s scheme that’s only purpose is to use me in order to advance their own goals. I don’t mind being involved in worthwhile projects. I don’t mind helping other people out, but I never, ever appreciate feeling “used” in order to deceitfully help someone else get what they want.

I just finished up the fifth book in the Warrior Women Series. I had thought I needed to take a break and have a little breather from writing projects, although I have a few in progress that I want to complete. Within the last week, I heard from two people with stories to share about black panther sightings.

Panther Tales 2 is almost finished. I have room for a few more stories and specific people in mind who I’ve wanted to talk to about their sightings. My goal in doing this project is to give people a voice and a place to share their stories among others who have had similar experiences. I’ve been scoffed at about my sightings. This has motivated me to gather stories from others and get them in published form as a community of people from a lot of different places who have seen the big cats.

Yesterday, I got an unexpected email from a person who wishes to remain anonymous, who had not only seen a black panther but had a couple of photos to share. This is all the opportunity I needed knocking on my door to let me know it’s time to get this volume finished and have it ready for the Wild Pine Mountain Event on May 4.

At this age, I only have so much energy to accomplish anything. I have learned to be more purposeful in the choices I make and the things in which I get involved. Realistically, I can’t do everything I want to do. I can’t attend every meeting, every baby shower, or every birthday party that I’d like to get to. Family responsibilities, church, and personal obligations take their place. I can’t possibly do all that I’m asked to do, but that in no way means I wouldn’t like to do more than I can.

Still, opportunity may not knock on the same door more than once. Timing is everything. What I’m learning as I grow older is that the importance of discernment is undervalued. Jumping into something because it sounds like fun doesn’t realistically look at the amount of time that will be required, the duration of a project, or the outcome. I’ve come to the place where I try to look at all those things.

I am a person who asks God to order my steps and direct my paths. Thank goodness, He often does it when I don’t even realize what’s going on. I’ve been blessed with many opportunities in my life that came to me by the hand of God. I could not have opened the doors that were opened. I could not have earned the invitations I’ve received to be part of amazing events. I couldn’t have gained introductions to people who have become important friends in my life. These were opportunities which were heaven sent. All I had to do was accept them.

My thought for my readers today is this: Don’t close the door in opportunity’s face. Don’t let fear keep you in bondage from taking a step in a new direction. But make sure you consider the outcomes before you invite opportunity in.

Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Judith Victoria Hensley at judith99@bellsouth.net or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.