Written by cycleguy on November 19th, 2014

This past April through June I hosted a series of posts written by guests about their Second Chance. I started it with this one.  Several of you wrote posts starting here and following each Tuesday after that about a broad range of Second Chances. I asked today’s author to write one and he said, “Yes, but I am notoriously slow.” I was thinking, “That’s okay. I will just put him at the end.” I thought he had forgotten me until late last week I received his post via email. I will let you read his post and then tell you about him at the end.

I was a troublemaker in middle school. Between middle and high school, we moved. This gave me a chance to turn over a new leaf.

In high school I was doing better, but my parents had noticed my grades were slipping. They gave me an ultimatum – get a 3.0 average, or lose my driver’s license.

The driver’s license is the key to every teenager’s heart.

Report card day came. I was just under a 3.0. In my favorite teacher’s class, I had gotten a B-. I needed a B.

I begged. I pleaded. The teacher wouldn’t budge.

I left her desk in the foulest of moods. I headed back to my computer under a storm cloud no one but me could see.

My screen didn’t have my in-progress assignment on it. Instead, it simply read “SUCKER”.

I stared at it for a moment, turning red as my internal boiler turned up the heat.

Then the kid next to me snickered.

He’d been a pain in my side all year, but one I had tried to ignore. Now, though, I felt as if I had nothing to lose.

I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I do recall his chair flew the opposite way he did. I punched until he hit the ground.

I had been given a second chance, and I had just thrown it away.

I glanced up at my teacher, who appeared to be busy straightening her desk. I knew I was in for it, so I simply left.

No one ever said anything. Not my teacher, not the other kid.

Years later, I ran into my teacher. I asked her if she saw what happened, and she had. I asked why she didn’t say anything.

“You had been making an effort to turn things around. So I gave you a second chance.”

Who can you give a second chance to today?

Ricky Anderson is married and has a 3-yr-old son and an almost 1 yr-old daughter. He works in IT and blogs here, but by his own admission does so very infrequently. I’m grateful Ricky is giving me an opportunity to post his Second Chance. Do you have a Second Chance story you would like to tell. Email me at pastor@ovcf.org and I’ll let you know the “rules.” 🙂



19 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    Ricky has never told me about his former life as an honest to goodness hoodlum. That explains the two sheds among other things. Oh, and if you see him, tell him that he is a great writer and some folks would encourage him to post more frequently. Some might even say that he is a very amusing and profound and decent fellow.

  2. I love Ricky and his two sheds. Glad for second chances.

  3. Betty Draper says:

    Great story of second chance Ricky.

  4. Oh praise God for 2nd chances. And 3rd, 4th, and on and on.

    His grace, His forgiveness, His love … endless, merciful.

    I love Him so!

  5. I definitely remember the second chances I’ve been given when I’m dealing with other people. You don’t now where they are or what going on in their lives. We don’t deserve these chances, but God is gracious and so can we be. Thanks Ricky and Bill.

  6. Ceil says:

    Hi Billand Ricky! Wow, what a powerful story! Giving someone a second chance can be life-changing. I am really thinking about how many times I just shut people out because of what they ‘did’ to me. What a waste.

    I think it takes a bit of courage to own up to our hoodlum days. Especially if we’re trying to change. I appreciate Ricky stepping up and showing how we don’t need to labeled. We just need to keep learning.

    • Hi, Ceil. I think it’s one thing to limit exposure to people that have repeatedly hurt you. That’s smart self-protection. It’s another to shut them out entirely and be bitter about. One allows for a possibility of a second chance, one does not.

  7. Chad Jones says:

    Ricky is one of the best friends I’ve never met in the flesh. I’m so glad for second chances. And I hope someday to sit down to pizza with him.

  8. cycleguy says:

    You should really tell the story of the two sheds Ricky. Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂

  9. Ha, that’s an awesome story. It’s pretty wild though that a teacher is strict enough to keep you at a B- but would ignore you beating another kid. Ha, but glad you got a second chance.