Second Chance Brackets

You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD:
     When people fall, do they not get up again?
          If they go astray, do they not turn back?
Why then has this people turned away
          in perpetual backsliding?
     They have held fast to deceit,
          they have refused to return.
I have given heed and listened,
          but they do not speak honestly;
     no one repents of wickedness,
          saying, “What have I done!”
Jeremiah 8:4-6

Here we are, 22 days into Lent, just over halfway toward Easter – how has the season changed your walk with Christ? Have you endured in your sacrifices, or carried through with your spiritual practices; or has it all fallen apart?

Perhaps it’s simply a seasonal coincidence, but I keep hearing people talk about “second-chance brackets” for this season’s NCAA men’s March Madness basketball tournament. The whole point of the second chance bracket is an admission that your first attempt was a mess, you screwed up, but you’d still like to be involved, so you dive back in and give it another shot; it’s your second chance.

I doubt he was talking about March Madness, but this is essentially what Jeremiah was talking about in these first verses. When we screw up, we try again. When we fall down, we get back up. But this is so often not the case in our faith. We fall down, screw up, miss a step and think to ourselves, “Well I guess I blew it.” Why don’t we give ourselves second-chance brackets in our faith?

Here’s your permission. If you blew it in the first half of Lent, or if you didn’t even dive in to begin with, take the opportunity now. This is your second chance bracket of Lent. Look at the current setting, where your faith and walk with Christ stands now; what sacrifice might draw you closer, or what practice can you make time for in your day to seek out God’s will in your life? Maybe you were spot on for the first half, don’t take your foot off the gas – finish strong!

We love come from behind stories. We love the underdog. This time of year (March Madness that is) we hear a lot about Cinderella Stories – if you feel like an unlikely candidate for growth during this Lenten season, don’t count yourself out. Get in the game.

blog comments powered by Disqus