THE MAN WHO LIVED NEARLY 70 YEARS BEHIND THE BARS
By Anani Sunday
I read the account of one 83-year old man who was released from the prison in the US earlier this month.
Guess how old he was when he was sent to jail.
He was just 15 years old when he, alongside 4 other teenagers, stabbed some 6 people, two dying and four others injured, as far back as February 1953.
That’s even before Nigeria dreamt of gaining independence.
February 1953 – February 2021.
A lot had happened within those almost 7 decades.
From 15 years old, he was behind bars for 68 years and was only released last week.
Upon his release, his lawyer said, “The child that committed those crimes back in 1953 no longer exists. The person that came out of prison in 2021 is 83 years old, has grown, changed, and is no longer a threat.”
Frankly put, it is nothing but a wasted useful years.
You know what?
All the good pieces of advice you turn down today.
The parents you hate because they tell you the truth you don’t want to hear.
The pastor and counsellors you avoid because you don’t like their sermons.
All these and more are your friends.
But unfortunately, you spurn the truth each time it is presented to you.
You then become the biggest threat to your future because you’re labouring today to make you cry tomorrow.
And sadly, you don’t see it.
You don’t know it.
It is even more difficult for you to believe this truth because you have a couple of friends that are doing the same thing.
And in fact, you see people doing worse things than you do.
They are your encouragement to turn your future to your foe.
A foe is an enemy.
Imagine you living inside a foe in the future.
You live today as if today is all that we have.
But the next two hours is a future.
It could land you somewhere you don’t like.
Take a pause.
When will you come out of your jail?
68 years after, too?
Your jail – when will you step out from it?
Your jail? Yes, your destructive live.
Your sexual perversion that gives you pleasure today.
Your fornication that you find fulfilling.
Your adultery that you can’t seem to shun.
Your stealing and lying.
Your alcohol and drug-led life.
Your secret evil ways that only your supporters know of.
Your friends that are actually your foes.
They are your jail.
When will you be released from the detention?
How will you be free even though you have labored and labored by your strength?
Call on God.
Yes, call on Him.
He can break your prison bars.
He can set you free.
He can change your life.
You’re walking freely on the street but you’re in jail.
You know it.
You’re not free indeed because your mind is chained in sin.
You need to be set free from this jail.
Your 68 years are ripe.
Break loose through the help of Jesus.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – Matthew 11:28-30, MSG.
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