The Summer Day, a poem by Mary Oliver, ends with this opportunity question:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do/with your one wild and precious life?”

Although she speaks to a grasshopper she sees on a summer day, the question resonates with everyone.

We have so much opportunity, we who live in the land of technology, democracy, and peace. Despite our advantages, we share a trait with the grasshopper—we all have just ONE wild and precious life.

And whether we believe it or not, that one life matters. The preciousness of each life is written in the palms of the One who died for us. And he died for all of us—not just the ones who keep the pews warm once a week.

The choices we make—to love or to hate; to speak out or remain silent; to uplift or tear down—are all opportunities that we either take advantage or miss. All too often I miss the opportunity to do the right thing.

The choices we make–to love or to hate; to speak out or remain silent; to uplift or tear down–are all opportunities. #fmfparty Click To Tweet

I get caught up in my agenda, my plans, and my ways of doing things. As a teacher, summer provides the perfect opportunity to slow down, reevaluate, and observe.

An Opportunity to Observe

I sit quietly on the back porch, hand extended with a capful of sugar water in a red lid. Hummingbirds land like whispers against my fingers. They scold and jostle and I wait to see what happens.

Hummingbirds, like humans, are notoriously territorial. Our form of territorialism comes out as comparison, but it’s the same thing with a different name. We fear our Father doesn’t have enough opportunities for all of his children.

But he does. That’s why he gave us one wild and precious life—so we can explore the opportunities, dive deep in the nectar of possibility and then do something with the gifts he gives us.

What will you do with your precious opportunities?

A poem by Mary Oliver comes to mind when I watch hummingbirds jostle for position. What will you do with the opportunity God gives you? #opportunity #hummingbird #observation #Christianity

This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!