For as long as I can remember one of my greatest fears is that of being wrongly accused and falsely imprisoned. I’m not hiding any deep, dark secret and I can’t explain when or why the fear first came about; but that sort of thing happens.
Alan Beaman suffered such a fate when he was sent to prison at age 22 for a crime he didn’t commit. After 13 years of being locked up he is once again tasting freedom and rebuilding his life. But there are prisons without walls that effectively keep us trapped and many of us don’t even realize it. One scene from a recent movie illustrates this truth very aptly.
Secretariat is based on true-life events involving perhaps the greatest race horse of all time! Susan and I saw the movie back when it first came out but watched it again a couple of days ago with the kids when the snowstorm left us homebound.
Most movies based on real-life stories embellish some details to make it more engaging and I don’t know how accurate this one is, but Lucian Laurin was the trainer who worked with Secretariat. In the movie he has a unique personality that borders on flamboyant and tends to be a bit cynical and moody. But near the end of the movie he quietly does something that is terribly profound.
Before the final race Lucian opens his wallet and pulls out newspaper clippings. These aren’t the typical headlines about winning and success; but rather the opposite. The clippings he’d been carrying were specifically about his loses, his failings and various negative opinions about his skills as a trainer.
On the eve of the biggest race of his career he finds the strength to let it all go. He places the clippings in a tin cup, lights them on fire, and simply walks away. He is a free man; a man not burdened by his many shortcomings if life. A man set free from a prison without walls.
What a great image of the importance of letting go of our past failures!
Do we do the same? Do we let go of our past mistakes and shortcomings or do we give in to replaying them in our mind and drowning in the feelings of guilt and discouragement that always hitch a ride on the train called “regret.”
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! ~ 2nd Corinthians 5:17
You and I are new creations! God’s Spirit is working in us to make us more like Jesus. Don’t let your past failures bog you down. We’ve all been there. We’ve all got our share of horror stories to tell. But they’re in the past. Rest in God’s grace and forgiveness. Reach forward towards all that God has in store for you on this journey of life. Don’t get stuck in…
A prison without walls!