A personal reflection on Matthew 25.1-13
Subtitle: Second Chances
The parable’s judgment, as I interpret the story, is more fluid and less final.
Good thing! For I am not sure that any of us would have an (any?) interest in being invited to a wedding banquet (or to a kingdom!), the door to which we, in the face of our failings, would find closed in our faces forever.
I am sure that I would not! For fail, I, at times, do. Failure always is the risk of risk; a potential outcome of trying.
Even more, I am not perfectly competent. I err. I make mistakes in my perceptions of what is real and true and, therefore, in my decisions, my choices.
Still more, I am not omnicompetent. There are many things that I don’t and can’t do well or at all. I, at best, am unevenly competent. (Although a friend once opined that that is far better than being evenly – thus, altogether – incompetent!)
But I think, I believe that I have learned that this life, in our very earnest living of it, holds out the possibility of second chances. To grasp hold of that possibility – whether understood as bestowed by God’s gracious hand or offered in the occasion of each new moment of opportunity or granted and received within the working of one’s own heart or all of the above – offers hope in the facing of our inevitable failings…
The possibility of second chances, even when I err terribly badly and, despairing, recognize that the moment, once passed, cannot be reclaimed, has helped me to hear that the eternal or my internal, “I do not know you,” is not the last word…
The possibility of second chances has granted me the grace to confess my failings in an anticipation of living into the promise of growth; the door to which such painstaking honesty can open…
The possibility of second chances has allowed me to relinquish my right to be right, hence, empowering me to live in the moment, making the best decisions I can, living with the consequences, without the burden of having to prove how right my decisions are or, indeed, how right I am!
Am I ready? In a real way, I suppose, it really doesn’t matter.
What matters? Taking the risk of risk…of trying.