Jails & Prisons


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My co-worker and fellow blogger shared this article with me in which the columnist challenged people, in the new year and the new decade, to look at a few things through fresh eyes. The writer listed 52 suggestions, one for every week of the year. This week’s topic is jails and prisons.

We sing often in church “my chains are gone, I’ve been set free,” which I think of as referring to one’s salvation experience. But I invited Jesus into my life as a first-grader … so … there just weren’t a whole lot of chains or big sins from which I needed to be “set free” at the age of 5.

Yet even as a saved person, being bound to something like bad habits or sin or just things that are unhealthy is burdensome. Being set free from those things is like flying! I’ve experienced such bondage and release once before in my life and I look forward to when I am set free by some of the “chains” I bear now.

My dad often tells this story of when he was on the high school basketball team and the coach had the team wear 5 lb. ankle weights for weeks leading up to the first game. When he took the weights off the day of the game, dad said he felt like he was flying down the court.

I imagine that feeling of soaring up and down the basketball court, of your legs feeling so light and nimble now that they are free of the heavy weights that was keeping them heavier than they should be for so long, is exactly what its like to be set free from the things in life that hold us captive.

I want to be free! I want to fly!

Two ways that happens. Like in the song, we can be set free, meaning someone else (Jesus, in the case of the song) is doing the freeing. Or, in some situations, we free ourselves because we are the ones strapping on the 5 lb. ankle weights that are holding us back from our full potential. That’s certainly true for me in some of the things I deal with; I bring it on myself. Which means it’s up to me to set myself free.

And … up to me to continue in freedom and to stop putting the ankle weights back on.

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