Seneca the Younger said, ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.’
As you read in Scripture about the people God used to accomplish great things, you discover that much of their time was spent preparing for what seems like a relatively brief assignment. The ego in each of us craves two things—limelight and longevity! But with God only one thing matters: doing His will. When you can say like Paul, ‘I have finished the race,’ you have lived successfully.
So, who does God use? Those who are prepared! Whether you’re called to business, art, education, politics, medicine, or ministry, this principle is immutable: opportunity comes to the prepared. That means every experience in life has potential value. Disraeli said, ‘One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his time when it comes.’ And it’s not enough to simply get prepared; you must stay prepared.
Solomon writes, ‘Hold on to instruction… guard it well, for it is your life.’ (Proverbs 4:13 NIV) Knowledge in most fields doubles about every five years, and unless you keep growing, you will end up with outdated skills that don’t match the challenges of the world you live in. And here is another thing: preparation doesn’t start with what you do; it starts with what you believe. When you believe that tomorrow’s success depends on today’s preparation, you see today differently.
Queen Elizabeth I reputedly offered the royal physicians up to half her estate if they could extend her lifespan. But, of course, they couldn’t. That’s why the Bible says it’s important to recognise ‘how short our lives really are so that we may be wise.’ (Psalm 90:12 NCV)