Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Freedom, Floods, & Forest-Fires

How do you see your freedom?

This blog was supposed to post yesterday
but in my freedom, I am late.
In my last post, I wrote of my anniversary
and in the celebration I postponed some things.
A few things I will not postpone is:
loving my family,
sharing Christ salvation,
serving others in need,
seeking a deeper relationship with God.

So while driving to the high-desert,
over Mt Hood to central Oregon,
I was reminded of my incarceration.
May seem like an odd place
to “see” a reminder of my past.
The scenery was beautiful,
the weather near perfect,
but the scars of a previous fire
were burnt into the landscape,
and I began to recall the flooding of Vernonia in 2007.

In between my stay at the state maximum security prison
and my eventual assignment to the “Summit”-Boot Camp program
I stayed at a minimum security location where one day
all non-transferring inmates were called to work a huge flood:
Inmate Work Crews Receive Thanks from Community of Vernonia.
By their efforts, prisoners helped restore a community.

Most often we do not think that convicts have much to offer.
But in another part of the state,
inmates routinely work to save our forests from fire:
DOC and ODF Fight Fires Together.

We may say, “Good. Its about time ‘they’ do something worthwhile.”
And here is the point of this post today:
These incarcerated “citizens” were given a choice
and volunteered to serve a greater cause
by doing work that made them feel worthwhile.

Many of us citizens on the “outside” look for the same thing;
a job that makes us feel better about ourselves.
So what do you think these same inmates will do
when they are given true “freedom”?
Most of us don’t know or care,
but in one case, appreciation was showed in a small way;
read this brief article and see if you would do the same...
"Store owner plans to help inmates who lent a hand".

Whether you are serving time in prison
or working in an unfulfilling job
your motivation must look more like running a marathon
where each day you run the race, one step at a time,
because too often we do not see that the “prison” door
is unlocked - and when we use our freedom
to choose a better perspective and actively participate
amazing things can happen, and life change is the result.

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