Why not give God a chance to give you a second chance?

By Shirley Prihoda

The Bulletin


If you like the company of older people, which I do since I am now an “older people,” most statements either begin or end with, “Where have the years gone?”


Most of us, albeit there are a few outliers, and you know who you are, bemoan the emptiness of an empty nest and realize far too late that the days are long, but the years are fast.


We have frequently stated in this column, which is more attributed to my memory loss rather than my need to impart great wisdom, “Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes it comes by itself.” And none truer than wishing we had taken the time to savor the moments for the treasures they were instead of our now ever-growing wish list for a do-over button.


It is my opinion God knew beforehand we would need a second chance to do better. He’s smart like that. Therefore, He gave us grandchildren! Now, our new enlightenment doesn’t always sit right with our now-grown kids since they say the new rules, even though few of them are vastly different from the ones they lived with as kids.


While there is a sense of renewal in allowing the grandchildren to eat a cookie on the sofa or get a drink from my Sonic cup, the deeper knowledge is realizing there will be many sofas throughout our lives, but there will only be one of them.


Before the friends who know me stand to repudiate this since it is an established fact that I border, well, actually live in OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) land, the cookies are not chocolate, and I squeeze the straw to impede any backwash.


The desire to do things our way isn’t an adult thing; it begins expressing itself immediately.


From the toddler’s, “Me do it” to my grandson’s favorite response. “You’re not the boss of me,” we want to do things our way. It may not necessarily be the right way or the best outcome, our second chance at grandchildren being the case in point, but we wanted to be in charge. Life would be so much simpler if we took direction better.


I’ve learned over the years as a counselor that adults are simply broken children in bigger shoes. They come wanting help to climb out of their brokenness, but still want to do it their way. They are stuck in an “If only world” or a “Me do it” because even though I came to you for help, “You’re not the boss of me.”


Now, taking or following directions is hard for everyone, but even more so for a born and bred Texan. Well, let’s just say, that left alone we could set the world straight in less than an 8-second bull ride while holding a freshly baked pie in the other hand. But there comes a time, it always does, when we find ourselves at the end of “Me do it” on rock bottom and nowhere to go but up.


Most heartbreaks in my chair center around their kids, their spouse, or in-laws. There must be a reason that an in-law is a close cousin to out-law! I share with them that there is an answer for all their hurts. Light arises in their eyes until I tell them Jesus is the answer for all of life’s problems. This is about the time their head drops in despair because they haven’t met the real God of second chances. The One that can and will restore a broken heart.


There is a significant difference in having the Bible thrown at you like a knife instead of the source of a healing balm on all the broken places of life. Since we’ve established the Lord is smart, let’s see what He says about family life in Psalm 127. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.”


Is this saying what it appears to say? Yes. The Lord will establish (make strong) and guard our home. And not only our home but the city as well. There’s no need to get up early and fret or stay awake at night, wringing our hands, trying to figure a way to make it work.


He is the God of second chances. All you need to do is believe in your heart that He is Lord (you know, smarter than you since He made the universe and everything in it) and ask Him into your life. He adopts us as His kids. Not stepchildren, but full children with rights to come in the front door without knocking, eat the last cookie and drink through the straw of His Sonic cup, and He won’t pinch the straw!


I love to put these on my hamburgers. Don’t judge me.


Onion Strings

Sauce Ingredients:

3 cloves garlic minced

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced.


In a small bowl, mix garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and chipotle pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

In a wide-based bowl, combine onions and buttermilk. Allow to sit for one hour; stirring occasionally.


Onion Strings

2 medium Vidalia onions, sliced really thin

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons cayenne

1 teaspoon paprika

canola oil for frying


On a shallow plate, combine flour, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Mix well with a fork. Heat oil in a heavy pot to 375 degrees.


Using tongs, remove onions from buttermilk and dredge in the flour mixture. Gently shake excess flour from the onions. Drop into hot oil and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels.


(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)