When I was in grade school, I could not wait to get home, shed my school clothes and hit the court for a little basketball. Whether it was a small pick up game or one-on-one, my afternoons were filled with a little round ball competition. Occasionally it was a game of “around the world” taking shots from around the court with a miss resulting in the next player’s turn. We always allowed a “second chance”. Make the shot and you keep going, miss it, and you had to start over.
Later in life “second chances” were much rarer and harder to come by. Blowing an assignment in college or getting a really bad grade on a test came with just a few second opportunities to pull that grade up. After college, I entered the workforce as a salesman. I sold office furniture and supplies. Throughout my career, there were quite a few instances where I ordered the wrong paint color, the wrong finish, or the wrong fabric. A mistake was made and usually another chance by my customer to get it right.
We’ve all been there – whether in our jobs or at home – “just one more chance, please…” How many times have we hit our knees looking to the heavens and pleaded, “if only one more chance, one more shot…this is what I will do.” There is a new organization at Lake Norman that deals with “second chances”. Crossroads Reentry Ministry is a non-profit, tax deductible Christian organization that assists formerly incarcerated men successfully transition back into society. Founder Jeff Cloud admits the idea of creating such an organization was inspired by so many inmates expressing their fears and hopes for when they were released from prison. Some however, could not find employment or housing and turned to the only method of survival they knew – crime.
This program assists those formerly incarcerated individuals supplying room and board, teaching life skills, and finding employment. While there are many jobs that may not be well-suited for a former inmate, there are many more that are – particularly those which require labor and some degree of supervision and management.
Many of us are familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan who stopped to help the stranger in need. There are those in our community who have hit rock bottom and second chances mean the difference between a productive life or serving life. If you want to know more about this ministry, give me a call at the Chamber. Whether it’s a job or a donation, the individuals at Crossroads could use your help. For some of us second chances are just another shot. For others, it may be the only shot they’ll ever really have.