Life is full of second chances if you know what you are looking for

For those who are only interested in a summarization of this post…please scroll down to the bottom and you will see the summary…but if you want the full flavor please start reading here:

 

If you are anything like me…you have screwed things up in your life…not once or twice but multiple times multiplied.

 

I am sure you are aware of the law of “sowing and reaping” it plays itself out in every area of our lives. In fact…you don’t even need to be an active player in this law for it to affect you.

 

Your child can make a terribly wrong choice and it will impact you negatively. For instance…I had a friend who growing up decided to go after a stray ball that ended up on top of the gymnasium at his school. (I may embellish just a bit because I don’t remember enough details but the essence is absolutely true).

 

It was not school hours so he thought it would be fine to go after the ball…after all, no one would know…right? He disregarded signs and warnings and made it to the top of the roof. He saw his ball and went to get it. Without realizing that he was very very close to some very high powered electrical lines he accidentally brushed up against one.

 

It was such a jolt of electricity that it either threw him over the side or through a sky light. Either way though…he was thrown dozens of feet downward and hit hard ground (concrete or hardwood floor…does it really matter?)…he was nearly dead.

 

I believe he was pronounced dead during this whole episode but ultimately was revived and lived to tell the story. His life was definitely changed forever. He had some physical difficulties from that point on but all in all he was a very blessed young man.

 

He actually was able to work through the physical issues and live out mostly a normal life. He definitely had a second chance given to him.

 

So how did this affect his parents and family? Let me count the ways…financially, spiritually, emotionally, relationally and even in great ways with time. Not only was the immediate family affected…but the extended family, the church they attended, the boy’s friends and who knows how far it actually extended.

 

My point is…whether we have messed our own lives up or it is a combination of our own poor choices combined with other’s poor choices…the chances are we are living out the consequences of the law of sowing and reaping in one form or another.

 

If that were all there was to it…we would be in a complete mess. But that is not the end of the story…

 

My friend survived something that should have killed him (apparently the electrical shock alone was enough to kill him instantly not to mention falling out of control 30 or so feet to the ground and landing on his head). But…he was given a second chance.

 

We often meet people who are given second chances and we are blessed by their stories because it reminds us that there is someone beyond us who actually may care about what happens to us.

 

However…what happens when you are not “given” a second chance? Are they not there. I want to propose a concept to you that most second chances are not “given” in the manner that we are used to looking for them.

 

I have come to the conclusion that most second chances are not openly given to us for good reason. It is not that they are not there. It is not even that they are not given…they are just not as obvious as those similar to the story of my friend.

 

I think we need to be looking for our second chances. I believe that nearly everyone is given second chances in nearly every circumstance. The question is…are we looking for them or expecting them to just come to us.

 

We hear these amazing stories of how people survive things and think that perhaps we are either not important enough or fortunate enough to be given our own second chances.

 

But they are here. Where? Right in front of us. I reflect on my own life a great deal and I am always looking for avenues to proceed to get myself and my family to where we would like to be (in all areas of life).

 

As I look around…on the surface there appears to be not very many answers. But, as I consider who I am, what I have been given, what I have learned, what I need to learn and the amazing possibilities in front of me I see that there really are second chances everywhere all of the time.

 

I call it…”looking at life between the seams.”

 

The Greek philosopher Plato created a story from a fictional conversation between Plato’s teacher Socrates and a follower of his, Glaucon. This story I am referring to is commonly known as  the “Allegory of the Cave.” You can read it but essentially it is a picture of a normal person’s life who is not really engaging in life but merely watching shadows on a wall…simply reflections of life.

 

Briefly…it goes something like this…

 

Plato is essentially saying that most people live their lives as if they are chained (not able to turn at all) sitting in a cave facing the back wall. At their backs is a raised bridge with a grand fire behind that. What they see on the back wall is simply shadows dancing and flitting around of things happening on the bridge and the shadows of themselves.

 

They can neither see the reality of the people and/or the things behind them on the bridge nor can they hear clearly in the echo of the cave what is being said. They don’t even really recognize the reality of themselves or the people chained next to them.

Their shadows are simply cast on the back wall…and that is all these people have known since birth.

 

Below the bridge is also sunlight coming through from the outside of the cave.

 

Plato is trying to make a point about what he calls “forms” and how philosophers actually experience life in a fuller manner than the normal people stuck in the cave. In Plato’s mind…the philosophers actually live outside the cave and enjoy and experience true life as opposed to the shadows of the cave.

 

He envisions a world where the State (as he calls it) is ruled by these philosophers who have actually found the good in life and are able to properly rule over those in such a way as to create a good life for the rest of the people.

 

Whatever Plato’s motive for sharing…I think the Allegory of the Cave is a great picture of people getting stuck in their lives and either forgetting or not realizing that there is so much more than first meets the eye.

 

Finding life “between the seams” means searching for your second chances. They are right there in front of you. You just have to start learning how to see the world from a different perspective…from a perspective of adventure and opportunity rather than impoverishment and boredom.

 

Are there a myriad of problems in the world? Yes of course there are. You would literally be blind to not see them. But what are you focusing on? I have a couple of suggestions:

 

1. Focus on solutions to the problems that are around you. If you want to get involved in the very big picture go for it. If that is your passion…make it happen. If you want to focus more on the issues right in front of you…do it…find some solutions to your own personal problems or the problems of your personal community.

 

The point is…there are solutions. Sometimes, yes, they are quite hidden…but the solutions are there “in the seams.”

 

2. Grow up. I mean this in the nicest way. Stop complaining about your life and where you are at and start looking for your second chances. They are there. I personally believe they are there for everyone. You need to learn how to see your life from a different perspective. This almost always means growing up personally.

 

You may be stuck at 5 years old because of a massive trauma that happened to you then. It happens. The psyche gets stuck in some ways at the point in which you switched off.

 

You need to learn to get beyond that. You can no longer use those traumas as an excuse for your life.

 

On top of that…starting where you are at right now…you need to grow up. I need to grow up…we all do. Never stop learning to see things differently. We all need a perspective change on a very regular basis.

 

The Bible says we see through a glass dimly. This is true indeed…but we can broaden and clarify our vision by simply learning how to grow up into more than we are right now.

 

There is an entire world outside the cave that we can seek to understand. As we learn our perspective will be broadened and we will be able to operate within the world in a different manner than today.

 

If we have a poverty mindset…than there is something about abundance that we do not understand.

 

If we have a mindset of haughtiness and self-promotion and pride and we believe ourselves to be the center of the universe, then there is something about the beauty and life in others (including God) that we don’t understand.

 

If we have a mindset of confusion, perplexity  or fear, then there is something about the Love of God that we don’t understand.

 

(As a side note…pretty much all of these things stems from a misunderstanding about the Love of God).

 

If we have a mindset of self-preservation, then there is a misunderstanding of the nature of relationships and interactions that are available to us through a life of love.

 

I could go on and on…but I hope the point is clear. Most things are simply because we live watching the shadows of life and never engage in life itself. The way to engage in life itself is to actually come to an understanding of the expanse and beauty and Love that we are living in and around. Only when you understand do you have a chance to be a participant.

 

My encouragement to all (including myself) keep seeking wisdom, knowledge, insight, revelation, enlightenment, growth…or whatever it is you want to call it…and in the words of Winston Churchill…”NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!”

 

I have found that the source of all of this starts with God Himself and is conveyed through His Love to us. That, I believe, is the foundation and the beginning of all there is to seek. Truly finding God Himself (and I mean Truly) will just begin to open our eyes to amazing things that take place outside the cave.

 

Your second chances are outside of your cave…go find them. If you need any help…please ask me. I will most likely charge a bit for my time…(not always)…but I would be happy to help you find your way.

 

Many Blessings and Great Abundance (especially of your mindset) I pray are yours going forward!

 

Summary of second chances:

 

Everyone has screwed up their own lives to one degree or another…everyone needs second chances. Some people are given “miraculous” second chances while others wonder why they are not given second chances themselves.

I had a friend who nearly died of a fall from the top of a gymnasium. He miraculously survived and went on to live a mostly normal life. He was given a second chance…but it has been my experience that second chances are around us everywhere. You just need to know where to look.

I call it finding life “between the seams.”

Plato’s allegory of the cave essentially tells a story about people chained and unable to move in a cave facing a back wall. All they know their entire lives is the experience of seeing shadows on the wall.

Plato thinks the true life…the life of a seeker, a philosopher is one who finds his way out of the cave into the forms of real life…ultimately finding the good.

It is time to get out of the cave and find real solutions to our own lives and real solutions to the issues happening in our communities and our world. It doesn’t help to complain…it helps to act. It helps to seek out and search between the seams and find solutions that will truly work.

It is also time to “grow up” and start taking responsibility for ourselves. Stop living in the issues of the past and move forward learning what it takes to grow out of our current mindsets and stuck places.

The way of Love is the first and foremost place to start. Put off your ways of the self, or poverty, of fear and learn to seek the Author of Love and grow from that point. Also, always continue to seek to learn how to bloom and grow and move beyond where you are at this moment in time.

We need to move beyond the shadows and come to true understanding to actually be able to participate in this life.

It is outside the cave where the second chances are abundant…many times we just need to be aware and looking.

If you need help with this journey…please ask!

Comments
  • Jordon

    I’m not a very smart man. I’m hardly a man at all at the age of 17, but I came to this website with the thought of spitting in the face of life. Why would I say something like this? Well it’s not as obvious as I believe it is. Though I say I would spit in the face of life, I only say that because second chances are impossible or undesirable to my eyes. What is a second chance? Is it as you say Bruce? Are second chances really every where around us? I read your words and I wonder how long I have been staring at the shadows. All I want to do is look around, but telling me to move from this spot sounds as ridiculous as me saying I can live without a single glass of water. I am still just a kid, and I have trouble growing up to embrace the life around me. I want to see through this hell and change my views on the world so that some day I can look back, and see how far I’ve come. I thirst for knowledge, wisdom, strength, foresight and much more when it comes to life. To find a kick in the right direction is my ultimate goal right now. You say that the source of all this starts with God. I’m not a religious person. I’ve tried to have faith in God but my love for God was only secondary to my primary goals in life. My primary goals are to shape myself not externally, but internally into a righteous human being. I gave up believing, but I still thirst to know what God was trying to tell me when I had faith for him. My faith is dim, but at one point it was bright. I want to know God and open my mind to him, but I can’t bring myself to have faith in God until I know more about him. I doubt I ever will have the faith you do Bruce. Can you help me find the light despite my beliefs?

    • admin

      Jordon…I appreciate your heart. You have come to an understanding about yourself that is extremely mature. I don’t know what you are going through or what you have been through but I am confident of this…the beginning of understanding this life is simply a desire to experience God’s Love.

      That single thing begins to open up doors in your heart and mind that you never thought possible. Imagine, if you are able, being a child with an incredible father–the kind of father that looks at you with a glowing pride and warmth in his eyes. Imagine the kind of father whose heart’s desire is to hang out with you…simply because you are his son. Imagine the kind of father who so desires you to be close to him that he would give up anything anytime to give his time and energy to simply support, encourage and be with you.

      If you can imagine that picture then you have just barely caught a glimpse of the enormity of the Love God the Father has for you. If I could suggest a book and a website to you…these might be of some help: http://www.lifestream.org/waynes-books.php?bid=5 Here you will find the book HE LOVES ME. It is a beautiful book that has helped many people simply begin to see the possibility of looking beyond the shadows.

      Also check out these audio presentations: http://lifestream.org/audio-library.php

      And…if you like you can get in touch with me personally and we can possibly figure out a way to stay in communication. Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/brucebackman

      I hope and pray this is helpful!