Second chances

He was only a teenager, but he had dreams for the future.

And one solid ambition —

To be the best engineer in the world.

Science was kind to him. He had a sound understanding of the subject. By his fourth year in secondary school, he was already tutoring, helping students get ready for their final exams.

His dream was within sight, and his ambition drove him well, following the map he already plotted for his life by age seventeen.

He didn’t forget God. He went to Church, sang with the choir, and did his honest best to live right.

He was even baptized by a bishop.

Life was kind to him — so far, at least.

And then this particular day came.

He became ill with something, but it wasn’t something they thought they could not manage at home.

But very quickly, it turned out he needed to be rushed to the hospital.

Nothing was found to be wrong with him. They carried out tests upon tests. Nothing was found, still.

But he was in pain.

The doctors didn’t understand.

No one did.

But they kept trying, until —

“Young man, we do not see how you would live beyond 6pm today. But we would do our best to make these remaining hours as painless as possible”.

It was around 10am at this time.

And just like that, the dreams and ambition lost their significance.

Only one thing was important —

Was this seventeen year old ready to meet his Maker?

As he pondered this question, as if the situation wasn’t already real enough, from time to time the phone by his bed would ring, and a nurse would answer, “He has not given up yet”.

He lived past 6pm that day, and then all of a sudden, he was free of every pain.

He found himself standing on the bed, but when he looked down, there was an image of him also, lying on the bed. Curious.

As he attempted to get down from the bed, he found himself going up instead — up, and out of the building through the roof.

Then to the sky.

Then through the sky.

And then into what seemed like a very large judgment hall.

At this point, he knew.

He might have lived past 6pm, but it finally happened.

The time had come for him, after seventeen years, to give an account of what he did with his life on earth. He was before his Maker.

As he awaited his turn, he watched the proceedings.

Three men sat with books open before them. When a person’s name was called, he went to the man with the first book. After going through the records, he went to the second and then the third man.

And then he was sent to the Person seated on the throne, for judgment.

As he watched, the seventeen year old discussed with people seated with him. They came up with reasons why they were sure they had made good account of their time on earth. They would surely be sent through the door behind the Person on the judgment seat.

Eventually one of them was called. After going through the records, he was sent to hell.

The second person too.

By the time the seventeen year old was called, his confidence had already begun to fail him.

As he tells it —

The walk from the men with the records, to the Person seated on the throne, is the longest walk he has ever taken.

Because —

What is Church? 

He had been on his way to Church one evening with friends, when they remembered that a movie they always wanted to see would be showing for the last time at a nearby cinema that night. At the Church gate, as they debated, trying to decide if they should join the service or go see the movie, the seventeen year old had made the point that the Church would always be there, but if they missed the movie they might never see it again for life. “Afterall”, he had told his friends, “What is Church?”

That statement (Or question) “What is Church” was recorded for him as sin. He relived many moments like this with the men that had the records — times he had absolutely no idea he was sinning against God.

As he took the walk from the records to the Person on the throne, he was especially hurt by the fact that a Christian burial would be organized for him, everyone would be sure he was in Heaven because he was a “good boy”, but here he was, on his way to hell.

I believe in second chances.

Because —

The Person on the throne looked at him. He didn’t point the seventeen year old to hell. He didn’t send him through the door behind the throne. He pointed to the only entrance of the hall and said —

“I give you another chance”.

I believe in second chances.

Because —

That seventeen year old went out that hall, through the sky, into the image of him lying on that hospital bed, and thoroughly surprised doctors and nurses when he woke up, free of every pain.

I believe in second chances.

Because —

That seventeen year old grew up to be my daddy.

As for the dreams and ambition —

Well, he’s a Preacher now. But that’s another story — a story he tells in a new book, “Turn round and destroy the bridge” (Yes, that was a direct instruction from God) — a continuation of the book,  “I give you another chance”. Together, both books tell the story of his search for God, and how he was called (Conscripted, more like) into the Gospel ministry.

I believe in second chances.

I believe only Jesus saves.

And if you need another chance, here it is —

Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8.

And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13.


This post may be linked up with these encouraging writers.


This post may be linked up with these encouraging writers.

40 Replies to “Second chances”

  1. What a touching story! Your daddy is a special person. I believe in second chances, too, and third, fourth, fifth…I believe Jesus wants us to be saved!

  2. Thanks for sharing this riveting story. It read like a novel.

    Praising God that your dad went on not only to live, but to serve the Living God in the pastoral ministry. Powerful testimony.

  3. Thank you. I thought this was a fictional story, but am so encouraged to know it’s not fiction. What a wonderful testimony of second chances. Love it!

  4. This is so beautiful Boma! Truth that God is really a God of second chances and new beginnings. What a wonderful story of starting over. May God continue to bless your family!!!

  5. What a powerful testimony and your daddy didn’t disappoint. God saved him “so that” – so that He could witness to many! Thank you for sharing this hope, my friend!!
    Blessings,
    Lori

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