Your Mileage May Vary
Want to know how you’ll fare on Judgment Day? Take the words Opportunity and Potential and answer them according to how you have lived your life. Jesus said,
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:48b TNIV)
No believers in history have had as much opportunity as in modern day America, and much of the western world. We have access to all the recorded knowledge of history, in all the world’s languages. With a few keystrokes on a computer in the comfort of home, millions of us can instantly find everything we want to know about anything touching on God, the Bible, theology, archeology, etc. We can read the writings of all the great thinkers before us, browse through any concordance or dictionary, and get a pretty good education on thousands of topics.
So the question is: what do we do with this opportunity? How do we spend those moments when job and family do not demand our attention? Granted we all need some recreation too, but what percentage of our day do we give it? And what percentage does God get?
On Judgment Day, God will not ask us how we did compared to another person, but what we did with the opportunities presented to us. As a group, all of us with internet access and the time to use it will be held to the highest standard, because we had the most opportunity. Even without internet, we have libraries and bookstores. What excuses can we give for not taking advantage of all these resources?
Individually, within the scope of our general opportunities, we must also answer to our own potential. God gives each person a unique set of circumstances in life: genetics, experiences, etc. He alone knows our individual potential, which is the maximum we can possibly do in a given set of circumstances. And as with opportunity, he will ask us not whether we accomplished as much as another person, but how close we came to our potential.
How much effort do we put into reaching that potential? Do we always do our best, strive for the top, always look for ways to improve? Or do we keep looking for comfortable places to sit? What answer could there possibly be when God asks us how hard we tried, which proves how highly we valued Him?
Or as Indiana Jones once put it, “It ain’t the years, it’s the mileage”.