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A God of Second Chances

March 2, 2009
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My younger sister Emily often quipped "You should never kill yourself because 10 minutes later you might change your mind." I thought of that truth when I recently read a news story and incredible photograph that spread like wildfire across the internet. Last month a 34 year old Coloradan attempted suicide by driving his van off the Rim Rock Drive in the Colorado National Monument. However, as fate would have it, the van landed on top of a rock formation jutting out from the cliff. Miraculously, the van stuck and was prevented from making the fatal 300 foot plunge to the rocky bottom.
vanrocks.JPGHow often do we let the unfortunate events in our lives get us down and cause us to make rash judgments or say things that we might later regret, even 10 minutes later. I can just imagine the feeling of the individual who survived the failed suicide attempt. Sitting in his car, perched high above the rocky valley where he hoped to die, I hope he realized that our God is a God of second chances. Whether it's David after his fall with Bathsheba, Moses after killing the Egyptian, or Saul after persecuting Christians, God has shown us time and time again that he does not hold our past against us, and that he is prepared to create beautiful futures our of ugly pasts. As St. Paul would write after his conversion, "But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)
I hope the driver of that van will also accept the second chance he so miraculously received!
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Photos: U.S. National Park Service