Recently my mother underwent knee replacement surgery. After the operation was completed the surgeon met with Gary, Kevin, Jane and I. He told us that the operation went well, mom had done well, she wouldn’t need a transfusion, the ligaments were in good shape, and that after the surgery her new knee went all the way from straight to 130 degrees.
Then he said something that made a lasting impression on me. He said, “Does all this guarantee success? No. What I have given your mother is an opportunity. Her success will depend on what she does with that opportunity. If she is willing to do her part and go through the pain and hard work of therapy she will do well. I’ve done my best, the rest is up to her.”
I thought, “Wow! That’s just like life.” We don’t have any guarantees. What we have are opportunities. God gives us life one day at a time. We are given this day as an opportunity to see what we can make of it. God has done His best. He’s given us everything we need. The rest is up to us.
If we neglect to recognize our responsibility for growth we are like the person who goes through surgery and expects the doctor to do it all. The reason many people don’t take responsibility for their lives is that it’s often uncomfortable, sometimes even painful. It’s much easier to develop a blame list. Those who are unwilling to put themselves through the pain of self-discipline pay the price of a limited life. Only those who accept their responsibilities have a right to expect the rewards.
Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The Great Physician has done his best. What are you doing with your opportunity?