Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mulligans

I'm so glad God likes sports.

Like baseball. The Bible starts in the big inning.

And recreational golf.

He allows as many mulligans as we want, so long as we admit our mistakes with the errant shots, and promise to slow down our swings.

New life in the form of a newborn baby is a miracle.

But the older I get, I believe new life, new chances, new opportunities, multiple redos for those of us already muddling thru is perhaps the biggest miracle.

Last evening I was with my 24 year old son. He got a call from his best friend from middle school.

A young man from a great family that had made some bad choices. He had succumbed to substance abuse a few years ago. Of the worst kind.

With the help of his God and his family, he has just graduated from rehab and is loving living sober again. He was living Hell on earth a few months ago. Now, he has a clean new start. We thought we might have lost him not long ago. Last night, we hugged him like a newborn.

We see it in our own kids. They make decisions that put them in a bad place and they can't see the way out. Mistakes are part of life. One of the great joys of parenting is seeing kids learning from bad choices getting to start life anew.

I've seen it so many times in business. An employee is a round peg in a square hole. Try as everyone might, it just isn't working.

Telling someone they have lost their job is an awful thing to have to do. But sometimes it is the right thing to do.

So often, I have seen that person express relief because they have felt like they were in prison. And so many times, it has freed them to move on to what they really want to do. And they become thankful for being set free. And they prosper in an entirely new venture.

We see it in relationships. Situations change, people change, feelings change and sometimes friendships and marriages collapse.

It is as close to death as it comes in terms of stress. The loss of a love is a loss of hope. A loss of trust. A loss of confidence. A loss of willingness to be vulnerable.

And it does get darkest just before dawn.

But dawn does come again.

I've experienced it personally. I've seen friends in dark places when out of nowhere light shines thru.

I've lost a son. But thru his death, lives have been changed. Young men he knew have gained a new perspective on life. They have become more focused, more serious, more aware of mortality. More appreciative of the loved ones around them.

Losing Pete has given me new life. One I never hoped for. One I never imagined. But using his life's legacy as inspiration, we have seen miracles happen again and again to impact the lives of men and women in the military who need a soft touch on the shoulder.

New life is possible.

I've learned the hard way that I am not in control. I've learned the hard way to stop holding on with a tight grip.

I have to open my hands, my arms, my mind and my heart and trust that God will bring what I need.

He has done it time and again.

I can't wait to see what He has in store for me next.

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