We all fail. Some of us catastrophically. Some of us daily. But trying again – ‘getting back up on that horse’, ‘picking ourselves up and shaking off the dust’, ‘going back to the drawing board’ – however you want to say it. It’s worthwhile. (Hopefully) we all learn from our failures. If nothing else we can learn humility. And God knows this world could use a bit more of that.
A second chance can change everything.
Humbled by my mistakes I might be more considerate of others failings. Or I might learn to be more patient with myself. Often I’m reminded by my failures that I am a ‘work in progress’. Sometimes it’s just a subtle reminder that I’m not really in charge of anything other than how I react to the circumstances of my life. Other times I’m slapped with the reality that I just really screwed up! It’s those ‘screwing up’ times that resonate with me. I try not to spend too much time or energy on the coulda-shoulda-woulda stuff. Instead I thank God for the second (or third or fourth, etc., etc.) chance I’m being given and promise to do better.
I marvel as I watch my grandkids learning things for the first time. I am amazed at how hard they try to succeed – in school; in sports; in life. I cherish sharing some of the adventures that shape their young lives. And I pray that they will be afforded as many second chances as this old mistake-maker has been given. I have said “I am sorry” more times than I could count but I have heard “you are forgiven” even more.
During Lent I am reminded that it is a time to share my sorrow. And a time to be forgiven. And be gifted with yet another second chance.
There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future’. Luke 13:6-9