Friday, July 03, 2009
How Many Chances?
You might remember the story of hockey player Dany Heatley who broke into the league with the Atlanta Thrashers. One night he was driving at high speed and careened off the road. His passenger, another player, was killed in the accident. Heatley was injured and convicted of reckless driving. It was remarkable that the family of the other player forgave him out of their Christian convictions. Their forgiveness was a powerful reminder that our faith in Christ gives us a second chance, and we can extend it to others.
Heatley is at the centre of another, lesser, controversy at the moment. He has petulantly and publicly demanded a trade by his current team, the Ottawa Senators. Atlanta granted his wish to go elsewhere and start over. Heatley doesn't like the new Senator coach and wants out. The team made a trade, but he refused to go, a condition of his contract.
So, how many chances do we get? Jesus said forgive seventy times seven, but isn't this guy a big self-absorbed baby? It's a reminder that when we choose to forgive there are no guarantees of happy endings. It may mean that the recipient of grace will undergo a character change, but it ain't written in the contract. Who do you think forgiveness benefits most, the receiver or the bestower?