Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Shawshank Redemption and Life

I promised I would not blog this weekend, but I just had this idea and I wanted to quickly share it and then get back to family stuff.

I was just thinking about that scene in the beautiful film, The Shawshank Redemption where the old guy (what's his name?) finally leaves Shawshank Prison. He becomes a free man again. But remember what happens? He freaks out. He simply cannot make it. He has spent life 'inside the institution' for too long. He could not adjust to the way life should be, you know?

Thing is, he wasn't made for Shawshank Prison; he was made for a free life.

So I was just reading this poem about how men toil, and I was remembering how part of the curse that God put on Adam was that he would toil greatly and never be fully satisfied and all that jazz. And the stuff he said to Eve, too.

But here's the deal: I don't know that it was prescriptive as much as it would be descriptive. You followin' me here? Like God wasn't saying that you must remain in these shackles of toil and meaninglessness (though many of us do), but rather, now because of what you have done, this happens.

It also makes me think about another implication of this: that those of us who have been 'in the institution' for so long (ie. the church proper) are finding it hard to really exist 'outside the institution' and some even would probably go back because of a fear of how to live in this new way beyond institutionalization.

Were we not made for institutionalization? I don't think we were. Were we not made for toil, meaninglessness, pain in child labor? I don't think we were.

We can choose to continue to be products of our decisions or we can decide to change. But it is up to us to decide to change.