Last week I wrote a post called “Especially When They Don’t” detailing a heartbreaking loss for “the boy” in a recent tournament game. I gave the full play-by-play in that post, but the short of it was that he missed the game tying free throw…twice. He was crushed and I was crushed for him. Yet in a strange Karma-meets-sports-meets-God-meets-2nd chances kinda moment, he didn’t have to wait too long for that next chance.

Game one of the Ohio Youth Championship tournament this weekend placed his travel basketball team directly across the court from the same team that had won the game just one weekend ago. As only it could happen, the game was tight throughout. As the final minute drained to a close and the game tied, “the boy” put in what would be the go-ahead and winning basket. Another player iced it with 2 free throws late, but his bucket was the one that put his team ahead. I made sure he realized that.

God is a God of second chances. I know this was “just a game”, but I couldn’t help but think of the brokenness we can feel when life can crush us. Yet there are so many “next times” just around the corner. There is a chance to shine, to remember the pain but experience the joy.

His team would go on to lose in the Championship game in another very close contest. In one of the games, the coaches from the other team repeatedly yelled “Who’s got 50? Who’s guarding 50?!?!?”. That is a high compliment when the opposing coach wants to make sure you are not open. If you’re wondering…he was 8-8 at the free throw line for the tournament too.

2nd chances…what will be yours today?