Saturday, Third Week in Lent

by Matthew B. Harper

1 Corinthians 10:11 – These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us.

As people we learn by example, and we are instructed upon the authority of others. We learn from books, and by teaching, and by following the examples of those who have come before us.

When I first came to prison I knew that I knew nothing. I knew the tales and legends about prison, but nothing else. All I had to guide me was my faith and my integrity. It didn’t take me long to identify the leaders of the different communities and groups in the prison, and to begin to see their character.

We learn from others, so we must choose carefully and deliberately from whom we would learn and who our leaders will be. I owe a great debt of gratitude to many of the older cons who were men of great faith and integrity, and also well respected within the prison environment. Over the years these men have taught me how to live a life that I could respect, that would steer me clear of most of the troubles in prison, and how to stand rock solid when trouble comes to find me.

When we embark on any new task, in any new phase of our life, or need any guidance, then we must seek out good people to be our guides and examples. We must allow our selves to be guided by the spirit in this. And then we must learn from what they offer. And never underestimate the power of someone in authority to influence people, so be mindful of those who would learn from you. Choose your examples well. And be a good example to others.

That it may please thee to show pity upon all prisoners and captives, the homeless and the hungry, and all who are desolate and oppressed, We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.” BCP 151

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