Thursday, June 17, 2010

Of Prisons and Escapes

The link to the website profiles 10 remarkable escapes from various prisons throughout the world, including the only successful flight from Alcatraz and the only successful escape from a prison camp during the Vietnam war.

One man escaped from his confines by helicopter - on three different occasions!

One famous criminal (recently portrayed by Johnny Depp) used a fake gun made out of soap to bluff his way out of his captivity.

The common thread in all these stories was the unwillingness of the various prisoners to accept their confinement. What kind of imagination did it take for these men to overcome the seemingly impossible barriers of walls, barbed wire, armed guards, harsh conditions and chains in order to be free again? To be sure, these escapees may not have been the biggest, strongest, best educated or most experienced prisoners in their place of incarceration. But they did share the common conviction that it is better to be free than it is to remain otherwise and were willing to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Are you in a prison today? Is it a prison of debt? Depression? Reversal? Sickness? Spiritual crisis? Rejection? Inferiority? Fear or despair? Have you accepted your confinement as irreversible? These men did not. They took the risks that were required in order to find their freedom. Are you willing to do the same?

The mission statement of Jesus, as quoted in Luke chapter 4 (From the prophecy of Isaiah) includes the words: "...He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners". Will we choose the familiarity of our prison bonds or will we allow our sanctified imaginations to devise escape plans that will loosen us to become all that God has imagined for us to be from before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1: 4, 5) thanks to our adoption as His son or daughter.

Illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini is famous for claiming that "no prison can hold me, no hand or leg irons or steel locks can shackle me. No ropes or chains can keep me from my freedom". I wonder: have you gotten in touch with your inner Houdini?

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