Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Need A Lot of Second Chances

There are days – weeks sometimes – when life is rushing at me faster than I care to admit.  When I can barely get a handle on my to-do list, my responsibilities, or my relationships. 

I used to think that I was good at multi-tasking.  Not sure if that skill was lost along with my slim figure and cheery disposition, or if I ever had it all.  These days, though, more than one thing at a time feels like sensory-overload and makes me want to hide in a dark closet.

But then there is that rare event;  the every-once-in-a-while, when I get a quiet moment.   One has found me now.  An unexpected gift from Father Time.  Minutes for reflection.  An opportunity to think about starting over.

As a teacher, I always loved the “new-day concept.”  I loved trying new things with my students.  Crawling outside the box to look around and see if there was a new way to approach an old topic or skill.  If it didn’t go well, I always took comfort in the fact that tomorrow was a new day, and we would try again.

My new-day mentality stays with me and follows me into all corners of my life.  This attitude is especially helpful in marriage and parenting.  But works for housekeeping and money management as well.  As long as one or both of us is employed, I have an opportunity next week to do a better job allocating funds or saving cash.  As long as my husband is committed to our marriage, I get a new chance to say the right thing and be a supportive wife.  My kids aren’t going anywhere, the laundry is NOT folding itself, and the dishes don’t hold much of a grudge.  Tomorrow is a new day.

Sometimes Satan stealthily sweeps my little tool under the carpet.  In those 85-mph moments when I can barely see straight, it’s easy to forget about the new-day.  It’s in those moments, that I feel like I’m drowning.  Like there is no way to escape all the mistakes I’ve made.  Like there is no life raft.

But there is.  There is a life raft.  If I can get a moment or two of deep breathing, I can see a second chance waiting for me.  Christ offers it all the time, 24 hours a day – you don’t even have to wait till tomorrow!  “Let me try that again” doesn’t exist without forgiveness; or grace; or mercy.  Why should you get a second chance?  And a third and a fourth?  You shouldn’t.  Neither should I.  We have not earned it. 

But Christ offers it to us anyway.  It makes life livable.  It gives joy and purpose and relief.  It offers real potential for marriage and families and friendships.  It is what every day hinges on.

At least in my life. 

So I’m going to take my second-chance now, thank you very much.  When I slide it off its hook where it hangs under the cross, there is another one waiting behind it.  And another and another.  I will do the best I can with the one I am given.  But I know that I am loved apart from that.  And I can return to find more love, and more second chances, whenever I need them.  Thank you, God.

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