Before I arrived at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp, a wise friend told me that I could use this place like one would a monastery. Unfortunately, I had no desire to go to a monastery either, but the advice was sound. I have tried to use this period of incarceration for a badly needed spiritual, emotional, and physical re-calibration. I've also thought it made sense to write about this journey here in hopes that others might learn something, realizing that perhaps my life's purpose was only to serve as a warning to others.
For lack of a better plan, I've approached this personal re-calibration as I would if I were redoing a house, something I've had lots of experience doing. I figured I would need to remove a wall or two to create that open concept floor plan that is the current rave on HGTV. I also expected to redo the bath and kitchen, paint, and do something with the floors.
I'm here to report that after 31 months, the renovation project has gone pretty well, at least so far. I've removed the walls, gutted the kitchen and bath and chosen paint and flooring. I encourage everyone to take on such a project. And, for the record, a prison sentence is not necessary. However, my encouragement comes with a warning. If you're anything like me, there's a good chance that God will show up in the middle of the project and give you some bad news. Your foundation is a disaster. You're going to have to start from the ground of your being, from John 1:1-5. This is true regardless of how much time you've spent listening to sermons, Sunday School lessons, or choir anthems. You may not believe this, but you'll just have to trust me it will happen. Seriously, if you can't trust a white collar criminal, who can you trust?
Now starting from the foundation is not a bad thing. In fact, it's quite exciting. I imagine this type of realization happens in monasteries on a regular basis, even to those who have no desire to be there.