*What would you do with a second chance?*
The idea of second chances appeals to us as human beings on a deep level. Fictional narratives, films, and biographies often embrace and appeal to this deep longing for ‘new beginnings’ as they resound with a core part of who we are. Many of us are inspired by people who ‘turned their lives around’ in some significant way, or by people who have changed some aspect of their life, and some of us have experienced similar changes in our own lives. At Christmas time we often turn to narratives such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Carol” for reminders of the ‘meaning of life’ or the fact that individual choices and life stories make a difference far beyond the reach of their own experience and can significantly impact others.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the idea of second chances up front and centre for some who have faced the illness and made it through alive. Whereas the idea of second chances previously might have been more conceptual, theoretical or cliched on a society-wide scale, we are faced every day with the reality that many people throughout our health care sectors are working and fighting tirelessly to give other people that ‘second chance at life’.
In a way, we’ve all been given another chance at life. While tens of thousands of people have lost their lives to Covid-19, we might have merely lost our perspective of how valuable it is that we can take our next breath. We have a chance, and we have a choice. What have you learned during this time that will impact how you live out the rest of your days on earth? You might not have the same strength or mental wellbeing or physical abilities as you may have hoped, but you do have this day and a new breath to take, and that is a gift. Sometimes depression and anxiety can make those of us who battle against them lose sight of that. Emotions and thoughts can get the better of us and we can sometimes sink down into them. That’s why we need a bigger vision, a grand perspective, that our small lives are actually very significant and impact other things and people around us. Will we simply go back to our old ways when we have new days ahead to live?
New life is at the heart of Christianity in a way that the world cannot offer. It embraces the reality that at the heart of humanity there is a need for a fundamental change, a doing away of the old, and bringing in something entirely new from the inside out. The world offers the chance to temporally and temporarily ‘patch things up’ from the outside in, and although we can change aspects of our character to some extent, and we can change our outlook on life, we can’t by ourselves change the very nature of what is inside of us by ourselves. Only by accepting that our starting point is fundamentally flawed can we begin to see our need to ask for a new life that goes far deeper than a change of habits. When faced with death, will our changes on a temporal level be enough? At the heart of Christianity we see the offering of a new life, given in True sacrificial love in the Person of Christ, nailing our old lives to the Cross, so that we can be transformed by His Life in us, not by anything we try to do for ourselves.
You might not see your need in this way just now, but wherever you are at you have the opportunity to change the way you think about the days you have left to live on earth. It isn’t too late, and it’s definitely a good time at the very least for each of us to be more intentional in appreciating the gift we have to live another day having made it through while many others sadly have not.
What does a second chance mean to you? Do you think of second chances in a different way to me, and how would you express this? Has the experience of life in a temporary lockdown through a pandemic changed the way you look at things, and has it prompted you to make any changes in your life, or to think about life differently, and if so how? ❤