In was Christmas in 1998. I was in my second year at Cliff College. I’d started college on the foundation course but they had moved me to the three year degree course.
At that time there was lots of talk about the Millennium and how this would create lots of opportunity to reach out. I totally loved being a Cliff but I’m a practical kind of guy. I was unsettled because if I stayed for the full three years then I would miss out. Often when I was praying I’d say, ‘God if you want me to leave early with just let me know, I don’t want to miss the window of opportunity.’
During the Christmas period I was staying in a community house that was owned by two of my friends, Alan and Margaret Mew. If fact, this is where I lived when I wasn’t at college because I had to give up my Housing Association Flat.
One afternoon I was in my room reading a book and the author told the story of Richard Branson first attempt at flying at hot-air balloon around the world. He said, ‘Richard Branson mission is to fly around the word in a hot air balloon. Richard needs to hit a certain current and the perfect moment and if he hits ‘the window of opportunity’ the wind will take the balloon all the way around the world, but if he misses the window then the mission could fail.’ Sadly on this occasion his mission failed.
I thought ‘window of opportunity, the millennium is my window, do I need to leave college, is this God speaking to me.’? I had to be sure; I didn’t want to leave college. I loved it. I could have stayed there forever. But I was unsettled.
The next morning I got up, when down stair and walked into the back room and turned the TV. I did this most morning before making breakfast. It was the news channel. The first words I heard were, ‘Richard Branson will be attending for a second time to fly a hot air balloon around the world. If he hit a certain current at the perfect moment, then the wind will take the balloon around the would.’
‘That’s it, I’m leaving, this is the God letting me know, this is my ‘window of opportunity.’
When I arrived back at college after Christmas I went to the Principle, Howard Mellor and told I was leaving at the of that year. Cliff College also did a two year Diploma which is effect the first 2 years of a degree, so I could leave after two years with a Diploma. He asked me why and I told him what had happened over Christmas. He said, ‘Okay, I believe that is of God.’ Usually when someone said they were leaving the faculty would do all that they could to get people to stay. They didn’t with me. That’s the he said of it.
For me this was a clear window of opportunity that I had to it – outreach opportunities in the Millennium. And here I am now, years later still riding the wind.
What could be your window of opportunity? Starting a new job, creating a new business, setting up a new charity? Remember opportunities are everywhere.
Maybe like Richard Branson you need to hit your ‘window of opportunity.’ NOW!