Undeserved Second Chances


Confession time.

I am binge watching a Netflix show at the moment. It’s not the most healthy activity I know (especially for a recovering addict) but the last episode stirred me so deeply that I had to pause it and write some of my thoughts.

The show is called “Last Chance U” and it follows a junior college football program in Scooba, MS. Yes that’s Scooba, not Scuba. The first season came out last year and ended with the team getting in a huge brawl with the other team and the game had to be called.

The team had to forfeit the rest of the season and missed the playoffs. They were favored to win the JUCO national championship which they had won the three previous seasons. This season is centered around a handful of players who landed there because they were kicked off their previous school’s team. Their hopes are to bounce back and earn another scholarship offer elsewhere.

One particular player was a starting linebacker at Texas Tech before getting dismissed from the school for his part in an armed robbery of a home. When you see him interact with other players and coaches, when you hear him speak, you would never guess in a hundred years that he would do something like that.

But his actions had huge consequences and he can never return to Texas Tech. He explained that it took a long time to forgive himself for his actions. He talks a lot about the people that turned their back on him. But mostly he talks about trusting God’s plan.

A 20 year old kid who lost everything in his world at the time found his faith in tiny Scooba, MS. He has no idea why God led him to Scooba and all he can talk about is that he knows it’s for a bigger purpose.

When I watch this young man, I don’t see a 20 year old bi-racial college football player. I don’t see a convicted felon.

I see me.

I know exactly the pain that he felt when his life changed forever. I know the confusion. I know the loss. I also know the shame.

When I had to come clean about my infidelities I knew that not many people around me would ever look at me the same. But what I had to hold on to more than any of that is that God never stopped loving me. He never turned His back, nor will He ever.

These kids that come to “Last Chance University” did not come there because it was part of their plan for their life. They came there because they basically had no choice if they wanted to continue to play football. Whether it be grade issues, a lack of talent or discipline (as mentioned), they no longer feel in control of their lives. That is a scary place to be and many of the players don’t do well with that new reality.

Some, however, take advantage of the second chance that has been given to them.

I have no idea why God allowed me to become a lust addict and see a 10 year marriage end. I have no idea why He allowed me to find recovery in Nashville. And other than giving me a better opportunity to be a more involved Dad, who knows why He chose for me to come to Kuwait!

The only certainty I have that no one will EVER be able to convince me otherwise is this:

God is good.

God loves me.

God takes care of me.

God is in control.

That’s good enough for me to keep living my life one day at a time.



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