Lay Me Down to Rest…
Wednesday night, before my lecture to an Incarcerated Father class, I was speaking with one of the men and learned that a few days prior someone had died in the jail. He was an unknown older black gentleman who had been brought in late Sunday. The story was that he had laid down, complained a little about his chest hurting, rolled over and in the next hour breathed his last. For those who witnessed the event, it was both haunting and a fantastic tale to relay to others. Though morbid, being incarcerated can be terribly boring, it was an unexpected dramatic experience in the malaise that is life behind bars.
As the excited chatter ceased regarding the spectacle, I looked at the man telling me the story and said; “What a sad thing, to die in jail. Alone with no one knowing you or loving you.” I am not sure why I made such a blunt statement except it was a lesson I couldn’t pass up. Many of the men I work with have been in jail several times and if they do not change their ways could very well die behind bars, surrounded by those who are not their family and friends.
I tell the men every class; “Choice is destiny. WHAT you do today determines WHO you’ll be tomorrow.” and we all have a limited number of tomorrows.
In the hustle and the bustle of Sundays it can be easy to forget it’s the Sabbath, a day of rest. Yesterday morning was no exception. Much to be done before leaving, and after arriving, at our campus. Added to this was an unexpected and unplanned favor someone asked of me.
Double checking my mental to do list, I hopped in the car leaving the the house, and my watch, behind. There’s not a shortage of clocks in my life. We have several at the campus, there’s one in the Honda, another in my office and almost every person I’ll see on any given Sunday has “the time” but for some reason I prefer to have it where I can keep an eye on it.
A block from the house it dawned on me that my watch was still on the counter in the kitchen. Finding a place to do a turnabout, I drove back home, pulled in the driveway, pressed the garage door remote and darted inside. While strapping on the Timex I also discovered the notepad with the details of the “needed to be done today” task still lying on the table where they had been written down (a pen & pad, so 20th century!).
If the relatively unimportant watch hadn’t been forgotten the important favor couldn’t have been done.
Time has a way of imprisoning us. We guard our appointments, become handcuffed by our watches and are sentenced to a life of being told when and what to do.
Maybe it’s time to stage a prison break! Overpower the guards, saw off the handcuffs, ignore all the orders and escape, if only for a little while. Life is that important event that happens between the tick and tock of the clock.
If I hadn’t forgotten my watch I would’ve forgotten what was important. If we don’t take time to be forgetful what else will we not remember?
watching out for what’s important,