Opportunity Knocks

By: Joseph Douglas Rich

I have nothing at all against contributing to a church, person, or organization where we are spiritually quickened. On the other hand, I wish to offer you an alternate way to give by real-life examples. A couple of things are required, open ears and eyes and being vigilant to opportunities that show up.

Recently, a friend and another person were discussing me, and one mentioned she thought I spent half my time connected to the heavens and half earthly matters. I might agree. The other person responded, “He is not really spiritual, because I have seen him watching football games.” I found that very humorous and had a good laugh then and now. The point is, I am as regular as you are. I have no star-trek ears or bulging forehead and still falter but only moments, not days before centering.

Spontaneous giving is joyful. I want to give you a few real-life examples where I jumped out motivated in the moment internally. While lying in bed listening to my local college pre-game radio call in, a strange call came in. “Hi, I know this is a football call in, but I did not know what to do and crazy as it is I called you guys. My wife and kids are moving from California to Florida to work for Sea World as a trainer and veterinarian. This morning all we own was stolen, moving van, car behind it, and cash we thought well hidden under the seat.” The sports call-in man explained it was a football program. The radio was silent a moment, and the caller just said, “Well we are staying in the Red Roof Inn if anyone sees a moving van and trailer with a Ford Explorer behind.” End of call.

I thought to myself “no police are going on game day to look”, so I called a Captain with the State Police immediately and asked he search the area for these folks. He agreed to send out cars without hesitating. I jumped in my car, t-shirt and blue jeans and headed to the only Red Roof in town. It was easy to find. Arriving, I asked for room of theft victims and was rebuffed for privacy concerns. I then asked if they could be phoned to come to the lobby. The entire family walked in. I introduced myself and told him I heard of their dilemma on the football call-in radio, was there to provide money to get to Florida and for their other expenses at the time, and had the State Police actually looking for his belongings already.

They gave me a great hug, and I gave them enough to get to Florida and get going. As they awaited a rental car, the abandoned stripped moving van was found along with the car and the LoJack wheel lock still there. Anything of value, monies and credit cards gone. However, this to me was progress. A month later, I received a letter and check for the full amount from his family in California, and we spoke by phone laughing how God brought us together by a man laying in bed listening to football talk radio.

That is how it works friends; life will present opportunities to act beyond traditional ways. Be alert.

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