«Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time» (Colossians 4:5).
IN 1987. American Airlines took a particular step: it put one less olive in the salads it served on board each of its flights. With that it managed to save forty thousand dollars per year.
In all areas of life, we create, search, and make the most out of every opportunity to take advantage of and make business more sustainable. So how much more relevant it is to do it on the missionary levels, where both lives are at stake, the one who needs to receive as well as the one who has to share.
The term «take advantage» comes from the field of administration and finance. It means «using, profiting, applying, dedicating, achieving, getting, producing, being fruitful, accruing, and benefiting.»
These meanings have given rise to expressions such as «feathering one’s own nest.» These artifacts are used to grind grains and can be moved thanks to the action of water, among other factors. That type of mill needs water to be directed toward it in order to make it work.
Meanwhile, when a person does good business, it is said that the person «makes hay while the sun shines.» There is also a popular expression in Spanish that alludes to doing the August plowing, referring to the harvesting of cereals, olives, grapes, and other fruits from the countryside during the most fruitful season and by extension, to the benefits that are obtained from the sale of a good harvest.
For Paul, to walk wisely means living in such a way that nothing hinders the proclamation of the gospel. For him, taking advantage of the time is to seize opportunities to preach.
Ellen G. White says that we need to be attentive to the opportunities given us in order to present the message for this time:
Let them be quick to seize opportunities to speak to the people. Accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, let them meet the people with the message borne by John the Baptist: «Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.» The word of God is to be presented with clearness and power, that those who have ears to hear, may hear the truth. Thus the gospel of present truth will be placed in the way of those who know it not, and will be accepted by not a few, and carried by them to their own homes in all parts of the earth» (Colporteur Ministry, p. 40).
Let us take advantage of this time of opportunity to do what we have to do!