Thankful for “Do Overs”

_CES0428The past few days I have been in North Cascades National Park.  This is my first time here.  I have wanted to photograph this park for quite some time and was certainly hoping that I could capture some beautiful images.  My guide for this adventure has been Michael Boone, founder of R120, an organization committed to helping others see and experience God in Creation. The first morning we made our way up to Cascade Pass.  I immediately began composing images of the mountain peaks and glaciers. I liked what I saw and looked forward to viewing my images that evening when we got to the hotel.

_CES0439Late that evening I downloaded my pictures and when I began looking at them I was very disappointed. I had made several mistakes that I typically don’t make. I felt bad that I had blown a wonderful opportunity. I knew I could go back to the same area the following day but certainly had no guarantee that the conditons would be as good as they had been that day. Past experience had taught me that you don’t always get “do overs” when it comes to nature photography. The following morning we did go back up to Cascade Pass and thankfully the conditions were just as good as the day before. I was able to make up for the mistakes I had made the previous day and ended up quite pleased with my images. Needless to say, I was very grateful for the second chance I was given.

As I offered a prayer of thanks for getting a “do over” I was reminded that the God of Creation is One whose specialty is offering people second chances.  This is something I will forever be grateful for.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes taking pictures over the years but those are a drop in the bucket compared to the number of mistakes I have made in life.  I have blown it more times than I could count.  This could cause me to give up in despair but the good news presented in the Scriptures is that God permits “do overs.”  By his mercy and grace every day is a new beginning.  God forgives the mistakes we make and allows us to start anew.  Each day we receive “grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

_CES0393I was able to get better pictures by trying again the second day.  Had I not done so needless to say I wouldn’t have the pictures I do now.  I took advantage of the opportunity I was given.  We have to do the same thing with the gift of each new day.  We need to accept God’s forgiveness and mercy and try again.  Hopefully we can learn from our mistakes and do better.  That is certainly God’s intention.  Some of us, of course, are slow learners.  If you’re one of them, don’t despair because come tomorrow you will be granted yet another “do over.”  That is why they call God’s grace “amazing!”

–Chuck

(The pictures shown above were taken the second day at Cascade Pass.)