During a conversation tonight with a Friend, we stumbled across the word "opportunity," which is a word I have seen and heard Friends use in a way that differs from its secular use... but the Friend with whom I was speaking--and who has a longer history among Friends than I do--hadn't heard it before in a Quaker context.
So I thought I'd poll the Quaker blogosphere:
When have you heard, seen, or used the word "opportunity" in a way that differs from the secular meaning?Thanks for any Llight you can shed on this subject!
What working definition would you give it?
Do you have any knowledge of when or where this word appears in any Quaker texts...?
Do you have any other comments or thoughts about the use or meaning or origin of the word "opportunity"?
P.S. I'll share a bit of how I explained this word to the Friend after a few of you have had a chance to respond.
UPDATE: Now that a few Friends have offered their own thoughts, here's a paraphrase of how I explained "opportunity" to this one particular Friend. You'll see that it mirrors some of what others have already mentioned:
In my own experience, there have been at least two uses of the word "opportunity."I also made it clear to the Friend with whom I was talking that no one had ever given me a specific definition for this word, but rather I seem to have a small knack for picking up the nuances of terms and language over time. Quakerism and "Quakerese" is no exception.
One is when two or more Friends are gathered, usually for fellowship and conversation as compared to a workshop or worship--and the Friends find they have fallen into worship; the Spirit has covered them if only for a moment or a few passing minutes. So simply be being present to one another, we might experience this sort of Opportunity.
The other use of the word has been related to a planned event or a planned gathering of Friends, often with an intention of seeking to learn more of each other, to know one another more deeply in That Which Is Eternal, by way of engaging in the planned time and activity together.
And for Friends who happen to have the book that is mentioned in a comment below, On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry, Brian Drayton's own consideration of "opportunities" is on pp. 137-148. --Liz