So I saw this movie about a young black boy who was wrongly accused of a crime he knew nothing about. Based on a general, negative perception about his neighborhood, his skin color and corruption in the law enforcement system, he was sentenced and jailed for 25 years.
He didn’t commit the crime but based on the corrupt nature of the system, the neighborhood of his birth and a skin colour he didn’t choose, he was found guilty and sentenced all the same.
For the first three weeks of his incarceration. He was totally hysterical. He couldn’t handle the pain of injustice, wickedness and oppression. He cried every day, fought everyone, he wouldn’t eat, he wouldn’t mix and was a big nuisance and problem to the prison officials.
Though just 19 years old, because of his rebellion and agitation, he was further punished even in prison, harassed by other prisoners, and sentenced to solitary confinement many times.
This boy wouldn’t accept his sentence, he didn’t do the crime; he fought the injustice by crying, yelling, cursing, quarreling and breaking all the prison rules. The only thing his attitude brought him, however, was further punishment, suppression, beating and rejection by other inmates.
He calmed down after some months and began to get familiar with the environment. His attitude to being imprisoned changed and he began to mix, interact and blend with the prison life. He accepted the prison life as his life and in fact began to enjoy it.
The passion, the fight, the hunger and determination for freedom and justice faded away gradually. He submitted to the system and accepted the life in prison as normal. He adjusted his attitude to accept a life of a prisoner perpetually.
Unknown to him however, his late father’s friend wouldn’t let the case rest and this man on his behalf kept fighting the system to secure the release of this 19 year old boy. Two years later, justice was served and the boy was released.
What intrigued me and was a surprise even to this boy’s family and helpers was his reluctance to leave the prison after two years. He was crying and reluctant to leave. He had become so used to the life in prison, he had lost the passion and interest for freedom, potential, possibilities and greatness domicile outside the prison walls.
The injustice in the system had taken away the dream of a great life and destiny he was legitimately entitled to, and based on his wrong personal approach to fighting for freedom, he wore himself out and settled for the prison life and in fact became used to it.
Many of us this morning are not free. No, we are not. The system of the world has served us wrongly and today we are confined and restricted to a life type, pattern and style we are very much superior to.
The callous world’s system has robbed us of our dreams, our vision, our possibilities, aspirations and great glory in life. We have forfeited God’s great plans and destiny for us and we’ve embraced a life of survival rather than a life of success in destiny.
Many of us had plans of 2 to 5 at most 10 year in paid employment for example, we didn’t really like our jobs, some remain frustrated by our business venture types and our lives in general, but now we somehow seem to have adjusted and accepted it as normal. Many are broke, highly indebted; live from pay cheque to pay cheque and literarily worship employers and clients. For very many of us, if we lose our jobs today, we’re finished goes the thinking! Many of us remain insecure, afraid, sad and depressed. We feel trapped, limited, restricted, tensed, pressured, stressed and in fact imprisoned.
Based on that desperate need for income and survival, you can’t choose what you like, you can’t sleep when you like, you can’t go on leave or vacation when you like, you can’t rest even when tired, husbands and wives can be separated based on job transfers, and they can’t say no, for many years the father figure is hardly at home, working at different locations based on the desperate need to fend for the family and the mother is raising all the kids all by herself as though a widow.
In many homes, the parents are hardly around, they’re both out very early and return late every day, leaving the children at the mercy of the school and a maid – total strangers, the television and social media raising the kids.
The system, has compelled many to give up on their dreams, passion, vision, creativity and brainchild – they have become mere tools in the hands of the system and have become helpless. Many of us have no time to enjoy our lives, our families, our monies, our peace, health and spiritual intimacy with our maker.
Unfortunately, many of us, like the boy imprisoned, still used very wrong approach and methods in the bid to beat the restriction and oppression of the system. All we did was cry, yell, rebel, complain, lament and ask God to judge.
But with time, we began to adjust to this life of servitude and servanthood – a life without pursuit of a personal dream, a personal vision or destination. A life of survival; a life that’s all about paying bills, raising kids, regular salary increase, retiring and dying. A life deprived of great glory and global impact, a life incapable of touching this generation extensively much less subsequent generations.
We have consequently adjusted to a life deliver to us by an unfair and unjust world. And our weapons of yelling, and shouting, and crying have also failed.
Too many of us are celebrating, and totally enjoying a life of mediocrity, we have adjusted to survival instead of great success and we’re cool like that.
Dear friend, I challenge you this morning not to let go of a true life of greatness and glory. This life of restriction and limitations is not the best life has got for you. There is a life of limitless possibilities beyond your prison fence of fear and mediocrity. It is time you employ the right methods and tools to escape this life of incarceration. You need wisdom, knowledge, you need creativity, requisite skills and proper understanding of the system to escape to a glorious, happier and fulfilling life.
Stop shouting, complaining, crying, yelling, and blaming. Get wisdom, in all your getting, get understanding. Your life is better than this.
At the end of the movie, this boy after leaving the prison he once was used to, went back to school, studied law and eventually became the mayor of the state. He became famous, respectable; valuable and he ruled the city and fixed the system. Not by yelling, but the choice to walk out of prison, incarceration and comfortable restriction to develop himself and dominate the system that once held him down. Dear friend, don’t desire to be a king in your familiar prison, its time you dominate your own world.