I could have been there. I should have been there. But…I wasn’t there. It’s the pain and regret of missed opportunities.
Have you ever missed an opportunity? Have you every looked back on a meeting you should have joined, a family gathering you should have made a priority or a pastor you should have encouraged – with regret because you later realize that something extremely important took place – and you weren’t there.
This year will be the forty-fifth anniversary of Woodstock, the four-day rock and roll festival widely regarded as the pivotal moment in popular music history. While thirty-two acts performed, there were a number of bands that were invited – but chose not to attend. Talk about a missed opportunity!!
While The Byrds and Tommy James and the Shondells both went on to commercial success, they were invited, but declined Woodstock, figuring it would be no different from all the other music festivals that summer. Tommy James said: “We could have just kicked ourselves. My secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’s how it was put to me. So we passed, and we realized what we’d missed a couple of days later. Joni Mitchell was originally slated to perform, but canceled her Woodstock appearance at the urging of her manager to avoid missing a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to appear on The Dick Cavett Show.
For several bands, missing Woodstock meant solidifying their place in rock and roll obscurity. Mind Garage (the only Christian band invited to Woodstock) declined, because they thought it would not be a big deal and had a higher paying gig elsewhere. Spirit also declined an invitation to play, as they already had other shows planned, not knowing how big Woodstock would be.
Personally, I don’t want to miss any of the opportunities the Lord regularly places before me. I don’t want to miss the calling of the Holy Spirit to be a part of God’s plan for my family, my neighborhood, my church, my city, my nation and the world. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to care for pastors, especially those in crisis.
As believers, we regularly have the opportunity to extend encouragement to those who lead. Every day, we have the chance to pray for our pastors, send a note of encouragement to our pastors, and be a friend to our pastors. I encourage you – don’t miss the opportunity to “acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.” (I Thessalonians 5:12-13)
Take every opportunity the Lord places before you today!