I’ve mentioned before that I love my apple watch, specifically the Nike workout app. Sunday is Funday or Runday or something like that with a guy cheering you on to complete the pre-set 3.1 mile run. I have hit that and exceeded it every Sunday that I’ve run and I love hearing the guy congratulate me.

However, I had just returned from a week-long vacation and wasn’t feeling the run that Sunday, but I’d been away from my running partner, Poppie my Golden Retriever, and I knew she had been taken for walks but not runs, so I committed to a short run with her. I accidentally hit the okay for the Funday run, committing me to 3.1 miles that I knew we wouldn’t complete that day. I was kind of dreading the guilt I imagined the guy would put on me when I’d hit the stop timer. I imagined him saying, “What? Come on, you can do it! Don’t stop now!”

I half way contemplated completing the run, but my dog wasn’t feeling it either. In fact, when I turned the corner to increase the distance, she put on the skids to head for home. I completely agreed with her and headed home ready to be guilt-ridden by my watch. But after 1.5 miles when I hit the done button I heard only silence from my watch. Whew! He wasn’t gonna prod me on after all.

The next day, I hit the pavement again, hit my Nike start button and was off. I heard the guy cheering me on. What? This wasn’t Sunday, he never talks unless it is Sunday. But, it was nice. When I finished my 3.1 miles, he cheered on my accomplishment. “Well done!” I heard. He had given me a second chance to finish without me even knowing it.

And isn’t that like Jesus? How many second chances does He give us? We messed up one day, said the wrong thing, neglected to act when we should have, refused to walk where He led, over indulged in the wrong indulgence, chose the wrong path. He doesn’t wash his hands of us, give up on us, forget about us, or berate us. He forgives us and draws us closer to him. He gives us a brand new day, makes us brand new, encourages us once again to follow His lead, gives us fresh words to say, gives us His fresh new outlook on situations, helps us through our turmoil, lifts us from despair. He still loves us.

He continually gives us new chances to please Him, to honor Him, to worship Him, to thank Him. While he allows a sense of remorse to overcome us for what we’ve done wrong, to allow us to turn from our ways, he doesn’t shame us for falling short, for not going the distance with Him, but merely opens His arms and encourages us to walk more closely with Him. He gives us second chances.

So, if you’ve messed up, my friends, like I frequently do, cling to Jesus and try again the next day so that you’ll hear him say, “Well done!”

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4: 16

When have you felt you’ve been given a second chance?