A quick study in the first chapter of Joshua speaks of the need to be ready for the opportunities that the Lord may send our way. Moses had died, but Joshua was ready because he prepared ahead of time. Being ready to step into opportunities (spiritual or otherwise) requires advanced thinking.
I noticed that about ten years ago, the author Max Lucado wrote out a serious of questions he asks himself before he jumps into an opportunity. His five tests might help us think and be prepared for prospects as they come our way.
His first question (The Preparation Test) asks, Am I prepared to do this? John Wooden said, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” He knew that his basketball players needed to be prepared for the game, or they wouldn’t be able to capitalize on the opportunities within it.
Max goes on to say, “Likewise, we need to be prepared with the necessary skills and abilities to meet opportunities. But remember, preparation is not knowing all the answers before you start. The key is to recognize when you know enough to start down a road. Otherwise, you’ll be plagued with the paralysis of analysis.”
His second question concerned Murphy’s Law. It asks the question, what could possibly go wrong and am I willing to accept the consequences if it does? (Good consideration.)
His third question (The Common Sense Test) asks, does this opportunity make sense or am I trying to make sense of it? (Great question!)
His fourth question had to do with options. The simple question is “Do I increase my options by waiting? Is this the right time? Max wrote, “How quickly do you need to embrace an opportunity? Sometimes it’s smart to wait while you gather information or talk to advisors. But other times if you wait, the door to the opportunity closes.”
And Lucado’s last test was the Deadline Test. It asks, when is the best time to make the right decision? Lucado believes that serious decision-making only happens when a deadline is set. “People naturally wait to move until they absolutely must. So, with this test, you give yourself a deadline for deciding. This motivates you to take a hard look at all the answers to the previous questions and decide in a timely manner.”
The bottom line for us all is to be actively preparing for the next steps in our lives. Those next steps may involve our employment, or our relationships, or the basics of our spiritual life. If we wait to prepare, we will likely lose the opportunity.
So, let’s get ready for tomorrow!