Thursday, October 23, 2014

Second Chances

Health insurance companies have discovered that healthy behavior on the part of their customers results in lowered overall insurance payments, and are actively encouraging healthy habits. My insurance company is no exception. They give "points" for a variety of things ranging from exercise to getting a flu shot to decreasing your waist size. The points translate to a higher wellness rebate at the end of the year. To help with the process, they offer an app that syncs with my wrist-band step meter. 

Recently, they offered extra points for signing up to do a two-week step challenge and I enrolled. Frankly, I thought I was doing pretty well, getting 10,000 steps most days. The front-runners, however, were getting an insane number of steps. The person in 1st place had 279,710 steps after 3.5 days, which was just under twice my total steps for 14 days. I was shocked! It turns out I'm not nearly as active as I thought.

About the time the challenge was winding down, the company announced a second step-challenge. To be honest, I thought, "Why bother?" In the interest of earning more points, though, I finally signed up for round two. This time, I joined the "team for fun" team and decided to see how well I could do. I've gotten 20,000 steps in most days. At the end of round one, I finished 1,983rd. I have no idea how big the field was, but I wasn't last. On round two, I'm ranked 1st on my team and 324th overall. Admittedly, 324th is not the same as first place, but it is amazingly better than 1,983rd, and it shows significant improvement. I'm really glad for the second challenge that gave me a second chance. 

Second chances are wonderful things, aren't they? Whether it's in a step-challenge, a relationship, or at work, getting another chance to make things right is worth pursuing. It's a kind of grace, this second-chance opportunity. In case you've forgotten, grace, unmerited favor, is simply God not giving us what we deserve. When we do wrong and deserve judgment, God offers forgiveness and a second chance. How precious that second, and third, and fourth chance should be, but do we value it enough to take advantage of the opportunity? Even though we will never be perfect on this side of eternity, we can all do better than we have so far. The grace of God gives us that opportunity.  

Consider the areas in which you have performed in less than stellar ways, the times you've failed. Did you just give up or did you give it another try with a firm commitment to doing better the second time around? Let's thank God for the gift of second chances, and be sure we take advantage of them when they come our way. We can do better, we should do better, and with God's grace, we will.