Saturday, October 22, 2005


Years ago I saw the movie Papillon about a Frenchman imprisoned for murder. In the scenes that caught my attention Papillon, who is serving a life sentence for killing a pimp, has a recurring nightmare in which cloaked justices accuse him of murder. He repeatedly defends himself stating that the killing was justified. One night, after several years, the dream suddenly changes. The justices appear but do not accuse Papillon of murder – they accuse him of wasting his life. Papillion has no defense. He hangs his head and admits his guilt.

I am not imprisoned by bars. I am imprisoned by prejudices and biases and patterns of thought and habits and familiarity and the temptation to conform. I confront the temptation to retreat into materialism, to withhold love, to avoid risk -- the same walls and bars faced by all people.

The challenge is to struggle with my imprisonment and to arrive at the moment of my death and be able to look back and say, “It wasn’t wasted”. I have been given a sacred gift in that I, and only I, can make this judgment about my life. It’s a judgment that I make each day and will continue to make each day until my end. For this gift and this opportunity, I thank the Giver.


Blogger Bob said...

I think that what imprisons me is my desires - including the desire to do good in the world.

10/24/2005 03:10:00 PM  

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