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Should Have? Could Have?

Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.

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Have you ever had the feeling you've missed the boat, or that you've let some opportunity slip by without taking advantage of it? It's a sinking feeling to think, "Gee, why didn't I do that?"

Often when we let an opportunity pass, it appears gone forever. Are we then shut off from further good? When I was a music student (my first interest was singing), one of my professors tried hard to get me to study conducting. I would have loved to have been a conductor, but I thought I did not have the instrumental training necessary. Years later I regretted my decision, thinking I should have at least tried.

What is opportunity? Is it chance occurrence? Is it a fleeting moment in time that presents limited chance for success? No. Opportunity is the perception that good is available. So often good can seem limited and hard to get. Or we may fear that, once acquired, good will slip away.

While we may miss a particularly good opportunity, we never lose the opportunity to experience good. Christ Jesus, whom Christians regard as speaking the Word of God, addressed the issue of opportunity when he told a story about three men who were each given commodities -- "talents." One man acted boldly and put his talents to work. This action resulted in an increase of wealth. His talents were doubled. The second person did the same. But the third man, fearful that his good could be lost, buried the one talent he had, with the result that he lost both his talent and the opportunity to multiply it. This story can be found in the Bible, in the book of Matthew (25:14-30).

By putting our own talents -- our present abilities and our present evidence of good -- to work, we prepare ourselves to receive more good. Christian Science, which comes from what Jesus taught, shows God to be infinite good. God is everywhere present -- all the time, full time -- and can never be absent. Therefore good is everywhere present and available. Once a person understands this, he or she knows that opportunity is always at hand because God is always with us.

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