Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT “I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time”
The initial reaction for most people who read this verse of Scripture is, “I don’t believe in luck!” Well said, because I don’t believe in it also. I do believe that men set themselves up for opportunity by their own actions. Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers postulates the 10,000 hour rule; that people have succeeded in an area are those who have put in about 10,000 hours of deliberate and relevant work in their area of expertise. But he doesn’t stop there, he goes on to say that what really made these people successful is that they happened to be at the right place at the right time, and that was the spring board for their success.
This brings to mind the story of David and Goliath (1 Sam.17). David ordinarily was not meant to be on the battle field. His place was in tending sheep. It so happened that his father sent him to deliver food and a message to his brothers, and it happened to be at the moment Goliath, the war hero of Gath, hurled insults and curses to Israel’s army. Many read this story and by default imagine that there was no preparation for such a time by David. Agreed, it was a supernatural encounter, but have you ever thought about how David learned to use the sling and stone as a weapon? Why was his sling shot so accurate?
If imagination serves any benefit in this story, I would imagine that David all his life would have loved to be in the army like all his brothers, but was denied the opportunity. This passion coupled with the supernatural power of God is what would have given him the courage to face the bear and the lion in times past. It must have moved him to practicing war battles while he was tending sheep. I don’t imagine him to be a little shepherd boy who just played the guitar and cuddled with his sheep. He was probably a fiery young man slinging rocks at trees, and fighting imaginary battles. It was out there in the field he got his 10,000 hours of practice, and when the opportunity came for battle, he had enough practice.
Friend, God has said He will lead you and order your footsteps (Ps.32:8), He also says that He will maintain your lot, and cause the boundary lines to fall in your favor (Ps.16:5-6). In essence, He will create for you opportunities to shine, but will you be prepared? 10,000 hours of practice is equivalent to putting in 40 hours a week consistently for five years in your skill, vocation or job. Will you be well prepared when your opportunity comes?
Scriptures to Meditate: Ps.44:3, Rom.9:16, 1 Cor.15:10, Prov.3:3-6, Prov.28:20