After I retired from the workplace in 2000, I thought my career had ended. But the Lord gave me a second chance, a second chapter: He made me write books and teach.
Those were not my plans. But doors opened and I entered them.
Now as a part-time college instructor, I am drawn to second chances.
Last week, on our last day for the term, we had a mock job interview, complete with a resume, cover letter—the works. After the interview, I took time to encourage each student.
One of them was Jerry (not his real name)—one of the smartest in class. But he was a sluggard: poor attendance with lackluster performance. On occasion, I'd talk to him about trying his best, but nothing happened. This time, I took a different tack; I threatened him.
“Jerry, you are failing. You never gave me any reason to pull you up to pass. You could be excellent if you want to, but yadda, yadda, yadda. Tonight I will review your performance; it may not be a PASS.”
That night, Jerry sent me an email: “Good evening, Ms. Chong. I just want to say thank you for being nice as a professor, and for being patient with me. I am sincerely sorry from the bottom of my heart that I have disappointed you. If there is anything I can do to get a PASS, please let me know. Thank you, and merry Christmas!”
Christmas. Our pastor spoke to us about what Christmas is about last Sunday—love. God became Flesh because He loves us.
Love, then, is about giving second chances.
After The Fall in Eden, man deserved to die. But because God loves us, He gave us a second chance.
This Second Chance was born on Christmas day.
With His birth, we are promised forgiveness for our sins if we seek repentance. Yes, God so loves us He doesn’t want anyone to perish. We read in James 4:6 (NKJV), “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'"
I emailed Jerry back. “Thank you so much for your message. Yes, there is something you can do to get a PASS. Promise me you’ll do better next term—mean it, and do it. Will you? Merry Christmas.”
He replied in less than a minute, ending every sentence with an exclamation mark.
“Good evening Ms. Chong! I will take you up on that promise! Thank you so much! I promise to do better! You have my word!”
I replied, “It's a deal, Jerry.”
Second chances: starting on a clean slate.
On Christmas, Jesus was born so I may begin on a clean slate. If I confess my sins to Him, and accept Him as my Savior, my past is deleted. And I become a child of God.
What a merry Christmas!