Make the Most of your Opportunities
- by Nate Naversen

This week was opening weekend for the NFL Season as players across the nation took to the gridiron for the renewed pageantry known as the NFL. There were several close games, some upsets and some unexpected performances from players. One particular performance stood out from among the rest, and that is our story for this week.

This week the Pittsburgh Steelers played an inspiring game against the Tennessee Titans, defeating them 34-7 Sunday at Heinz Field. The Steelers dominated the Titans most of the game. Pittsburgh Quarterback Ben Breathalyser passed for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns. But the player of the game was a man named Willie Parker. Parker was a backup running back until both other starting running backs Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis were sidelined for the game with injuries. Parker took advantage of the opportunity. He carried the ball 22 times for 161 yards and one touchdown. For his effort, Parker was named AFC offensive player of the week.

The Legend of Fast Willie Parker has spread to the Titans defense, as he gained 209 total yards yesterday. "He's just faster and he's slick," Pittsburgh defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth said. "I mean, it was like the guy had Vaseline on or something."

The opportunity to start was just the opportunity Willie Parker needed to show the world what he could do. Parker did not disappoint. Still only in his second season, Parker was expected to sit on the bench most of this season behind the veteran Duce Staley. But sometimes opportunities come along quickly. What was the key to Parker's success? When the time came to come off the bench, Parker was ready.

In the Bible, God calls you to also be ready to come off life's bench at any time. In 1 Peter 3:15, the Bible says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." When that friend or co-worker asks you about your life, or why you go to church, will you be ready to give an answer?

The Bible is very clear that God has a specific plan for your life and that he can call you into action at any time. Your task isn't to worry about when those opportunities might come along. For you, just know that they are coming. And the task he is going to give you is something that he has picked you out for specifically.

Perhaps you will notice that one person in your life that everyone else stays away from because he's a little bit weird. Will you take the time to go love on him? Will you show love to that boss who never seems to appreciate you? How about that friend who betrayed you. Do you have the strength to forgive him?

Remember this week as you go into your world that there will be people you come into contact with whom God has set before you because he picked YOU to make a difference in their life. Whether it's serving them, loving them or just sharing your heart, God picked you to use your gifts in a unique way for Him. The promise is the same for everyone.

As we start the second half, and as we go into this week, think about these words from Collossians 4:5 "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. "

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