Today is the first day of Spring. Where I live, it has felt like spring (or summer) for the past week or so. Flowers along our driveway and in our backyard sprang up weeks ago. Trees are budding. On my 3.5 mile walk with my dog tonight, nearly every dog owner in the neighborhood was out for a stroll. The park was filled with people playing football, soccer, tennis, softball and more. This is not normal March weather.
But whether it’s normal for this time or not, spring does always come around at some point. The weather eventually improves from the winter’s cold, and people venture outside for fresh air and outdoor activities. Even the dove who nested above our front door last year is back and nesting again. I greet her coming and leaving the house with a “Hello, Mama” while she just watches, listens and stays in the nest a couple of feet from my head. Spring gives us another chance to live in this magnificent creation and to experience the newness of life it brings.
We need second chances in more ways than just environmental. We all mess up from time to time. We botch relationships. We violate trust which takes years to regain. We behave in ways we wouldn’t want our grandmothers to know about (a pretty good test of right and wrong). We rightly suffer the consequences for our intentional and unintentional wrongdoing.
If you have ever been given a second chance (or a third or fourth or millionth), then you know that such chances are needed and appreciated. We need to not only be on the receiving end of those, but on the giving end as well.
The odds are pretty good that more than one person around you is hurting and in need of a second chance. Odds are also good that most people won’t offer that person that chance. That’s where you and I can step in and make a difference.
We can’t make a Spring and cause new life all around us, but we can provide the fertile soil of compassion in which someone else can experience hope again.
Leap year lesson #80 is Spring brings second chances.