Under the warming spring sun, and embraced by the awakening earth, the daffodils in my front yard are beginning to bloom.
Today, as I watched the pale yellow petals, emerging from their winter hibernation -- the first of our flowers to do so -- I found myself thinking about life and rebirth. I thought about hope.
Mostly, I thought about second chances.
The do over.
Often, it seems like we make so many irredeemable mistakes. It feels like we go through life, burning bridges behind us. Our sins haunt us like ghosts that won't go away.
Watching the flowers return to my yard, year after year, however, reminds me of how often I get a chance to try again. I get the chance to set things right more often than I realize -- maybe more often than I deserve.
I fail regularly as a husband, and a parent, a son and a friend. We all juggle so many balls and twirl so many plates, that sometimes one or two are bound to fall. I am cross and unkind. I am impatient and sharp. I am belligerent and sarcastic. I also let the moments pass me by.
I miss chances to hold Emma's hand. Or to throw the football with Matt. I let the opportunity die where I might have had an insight into the mind of my fifteen year old daughter. I let my wife drift off to sleep without hearing the words "I love you."
If Sharon never heard another word from me, I would want those to be the last words that left my lips.
Those are the things that I'm talking about. I really don't care if I ever get another chance to mow the grass, or shovel the snow.
The good things we do make life beautiful, like the daffodils in my flower beds. And I'm thankful for every sunrise. Every sunrise is a second chance. Every day is another opportunity to set things right, to correct my course.
A chance to say what I meant to say yesterday.
A chance to build, instead of tear down.
A chance to heal, instead of wound.
A chance to hope, instead of hurt.
A chance to tell my family and friends that if there is anything worthy of affection in me, I owe it all to them.
A chance to let my daughter know that I am so proud of the woman that she is becoming.
A chance to tell my son that I treasure his friendship, more than worldly wealth could buy.
A chance to stand by youngest, and laugh in the face of life, and show it that we're playing by her rules now.
A chance to tell my wife I love her, and the opportunity to pray that I'll have the chance to tell her again tomorrow.
A chance to follow the Yellow Brick Roads, and to chase the rainbows, and to dance where I only walked before.
I have so many second chances in my life, that I can't help thinking Someone wants me to get this right...