God has also given us a wealth of opportunities. An opportunity may be defined as a providential circumstance which permits us to turn our time, our money and our talents to account. Of all gifts this is the most common, and it is the one which makes the other gifts of value to us and to mankind. The wise Christian will watch for opportunities to do good, to speak the life-bringing word to sinners, to pray the rescuing prayer of intercession. The foe of opportunity is preoccupation. Just when God sends along a chance to turn a great victory for mankind, some of us are too busy puttering around to notice it. Or we notice it when it is too late. The old Greeks said that opportunity had a forelock but was close-shaven behind; if a man missed grabbing for her as she approached, he would reach for her in vain after she had passed.
Possibly the worst effect of waste is the mental habit it creates. To allow time or money or talents to go to waste is to do something harmful to ourselves. It is to injure ourselves inside where it is most serious.