A Lifetime of Second Chances

God created us in God’s image…
God looked at everything God created and found it to be very good.”

From Genesis 1

The treasures I recall from my childhood include our children’s bible. This huge book consisted of cardboard front and back covers which held together several small booklets. A new booklet arrived in the mail every month. Each time, my mom carefully removed the bible’s cardboard cover, inserted the new booklet and then replaced the cover. Afterward, my sisters and I poured over this newest addition where colorful pictures adorned every page. When we were finished, I always returned to the first booklet’s story of Creation, Adam and Eve, the snake and that forbidden tree. Eden looked amazing to me, at least as grand as heaven. “Why,” I often asked myself, “would Adam and Eve turn away from God who gave them so much?”

Life in this troubled world of ours answers that question every day. It’s lucky for us that God never returns the favor when we walk away. God simply watches with great expectations as we feebly do our best to make things right again. God also waits with arms outstretched for our return.

A friend recently shared a story from his childhood which illustrates this point. My friend was about twelve years old when he’d made a mess of a small chore. His ever-patient mom offered him the opportunity to try it again. My friend was so encouraged by his mother’s faith in him that, the second time around, he completed the task perfectly. My friend shared this story to make a point. “You know,” he said, “God gives us all a lifetime of second chances just like my mom!” I couldn’t agree more.

Generous God, thank you for the second and third and twenty-ninth chances which you offer us day in and day out. Give us the wisdom to embrace every opportunity to begin anew.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

There’s Always Another Chance

The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband…

Genesis 3:6

When I was a child, my parents didn’t have money to spare. Still, they invested in books. One of these treasures was a children’s bible. It consisted of cardboard front and back covers, several separate booklets and extremely long laces which held the entire thing together. The seventy-two booklets which eventually completed this bible came in the mail periodically. When each one arrived, my mom carefully untied those laces, removed the bible’s cardboard cover, inserted the new booklet, replaced the cover and retired those laces. Afterward, I poured over every page. The colorful pictures and reasonably understandable text held my attention for some time.

When I finished perusing each new edition, I habitually returned to the first book’s story of Adam and Eve, the snake and that forbidden tree. Eden amazed me almost as much as heaven did. “Why,” I often wondered, “would Adam and Eve turn away from God who gave them so much?”

Life in this world answers that question every day. It’s difficult to read the headlines and listen to the daily news without wondering where we are headed these days. It’s fortunate for us all that God never strays from our company. God simply waits with arms outstretched for our return.

Dear God, thank you for the second and third and twenty-ninth chances your offer us day in and day out. Grant us the wisdom to start anew whenever we need to.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

There’s Always One More Chance

She took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband,
who was with her, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:6

The treasures I recall from my childhood include two family bibles. The first is a single volume in which our family tree and significant events were recorded. The second consisted of cardboard front and back covers which held together several separate booklets that arrived in the mail periodically. With each new arrival, my mom carefully removed the bible’s cardboard cover, inserted the new booklet, and replaced the cover. Afterward, my sisters and I poured over this newest addition where colorful pictures adorned every page. When we were finished, I always returned to the first book’s story of Adam and Eve, the snake and that forbidden tree. Eden looked amazing to me, at least as grand as heaven. “Why,” I often asked myself, “would Adam and Eve turn away from God who gave them so much?”

Life in this confused world of ours answers that question every day, doesn’t it? It’s lucky for us that God never returns the favor when we walk away. God simply waits with arms outstretched for our return.

Generous God, thank you for the blessing of second and third and twenty-ninth chances which you offer us day in and day out. Give us the wisdom to accept every chance you give us to start anew.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

New Beginnings

The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband,
who was with her, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:6

When I was a child, though my parents didn’t have money to spare, they did invest in books. Two favorites included our family bibles. The first was a single volume in which our family tree and significant events were recorded. The second consisted of cardboard front and back covers which held together several separate booklets which were held together by extremely long laces. The seventy-two booklets which eventually completed this children’s bible came in the mail periodically. When each one arrived, my mom carefully removed the bible’s cardboard cover, inserted the new booklet, and replaced the cover. Afterward, I poured over every page. The colorful pictures and reasonably understandable text held my attention for quite some time. When I finished perusing each new addition, I habitually returned to the first book’s story of Adam and Eve, the snake and that forbidden tree. Eden amazed me almost as much as heaven. “Why,” I often wondered, “would Adam and Eve turn away from God who gave them so much?”

Life in this world answers that question every day. It’s lucky for us that God never returns the favor when we walk away. God simply waits -with arms outstretched- for our return.

Generous God, thank you for blessing us with second and third and twenty-ninth chances day in and day out. Grant us the wisdom to accept every chance you give us to start anew.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

God’s Gifts

The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband,
who was with her, and he ate it.

From Genesis 3:1-8

One of the treasures I recall from my childhood is our large family bible. This massive volume included several separate booklets which arrived in the mail periodically. With each new booklet, my mom carefully removed the bible’s cardboard cover, inserted the booklet, and replaced the cover. Afterward, my sisters and I poured over this newest addition, every page adorned with colorful pictures. When we were finished, I always returned to the first book’s story of Adam and Eve, the snake and that forbidden tree. Eden looked amazing to me, at least as grand as heaven. “Why,” I often asked myself, “would Adam and Eve think of disobeying God who gave them all of this?”

Life in this topsy-turvy world of ours answers that question every day, doesn’t it? Lucky for us that Jesus, the second Adam, and Mary, the second Eve, ignored the tempter. Through Jesus and Mary, we rediscover the gifts God intended us to enjoy forever.

Generous God, thank you for the blessings of our lives and of this earth. Thank you also for sending of Jesus and Mary who revealed your gifts in their loving service to all whom they met along the way. Give us the generosity to do the same for one another.

©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved