Got a Second Chance?

So often we have a tendency to dwell on the past as though we can change what we did, what we didn't do, or what we should have done with our thoughts. This repetitive cycle can be tormenting especially if you're carrying guilt about how you treated someone or how someone treated you. While the Bible does tells us to forgive those who have trepassed against us (Matthew 6:14), it's not always easy to do especially if the people who have harmed you, see your struggle and refuse to acknowledge their wrong doing. I realized that the struggle within to let go of pain that keeps us from growing is linked to our analysis of personal progress.

This personal progress could be related to a relationship, financial goals, or physical well-being. Whatever the matter is that you struggle with, your progress has not been solely tied to the obstacle that detoured, delayed, or distracted you from reaching your goal. You might think that is and it may be just a little, but read on.

Interruptions are not all bad because when you have to wait, you have time to think. There are some things you can only learn in the waiting process. You have time to reflect not only on the things that happened to you but on things you know you must change about you. A lot of times we only want to focus on what's wrong with everyone else, but rarely do we think that some things about us need to be changed. There are destructive habits, bad attitudes, and pious mindsets that we tend to possess that hinder our growth.  It is only when we go through difficult circumstances for a considerable amount of time, that we have the opportunity to acknowledge areas in our lives that need improvement. It may even take you awhile to admit change is needed because you may be consumed with participating in prayer sessions that are primarily focused on petitioning God for things you need, think you need, or feel you can't live without.

However, it is through the waiting period that our frustration for immediate satisfaction begins to turn into patience. James 1:2-4 says ... "My brethern, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

After reading these verses, you may think that there is nothing joyful about challenges you have no control over. On the contrary when you look deeply into the context, you can derive a greater lesson which informs us that it's not necessarily the good feeling that exists in the midst of trials, but it's the changing of our mindset. For example, if you think about a situation you recently went through or something in the past you thought you could not survive, you may not have been as generous, kind, or compassionate prior to the situation. After the situation subsided, you most likely recognized how you started to think about meeting the needs of others before focusing on your own needs.

That's the perfecting and wanting nothing revelation. It's not that we will do everything perfectly, but that we will respond to the situations of life in a mature way rather than responding in a childlike manner. David said in Psalm 101:2 says ... "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart." This verse reveals David's decision to behave right. Every situation may not be the type you chose to deal with, but you can make a sincere effort to respond right regardless of the outcome.

If you have been given a second chance to live after a catastrophic event or other difficult situations, use your time wisely to focus on the reason why you were given another chance to live. Are you suppose to be a community activist, humanitarian, healthcare professional, artist, or musician? If not, what? Take time to reflect on those things that drive you beyond yourself, things that won't let you rest until you've started working on the project or complete it if you stopped.

You'll find that as you begin to create, build, and develop the work you've been called to do, all of the lessons you've learned and the character adjustments that have occurred will be manifested in the manner God intended for you to reflect. You may think that your success is linked to something or someone in your past, but you can limit your success based on your perception that the person or thing you depended on was the ultimate source that would yield your blessing. God has other channels by which you can become the best person you can be and provide the resources you need to accomplish the goal.