Watched one of my all time favorite movies the other day with my oldest son.
The Shawshank Redemption.
It seems every time I see it, I take away a nugget of truth that I didn’t see before. This time, it was “a simple choice“.
Choice is a funny thing to me. I find it comical and sad that too often I (we) walk around like we have “no choice” or say in what happens in our lives. There is somehow a pro-choice and an anti-choice. Then, when I look at the reality of choice, we either make one, or, we make one!
Back to the movie…
It wasn’t Andy Dufresne’s choice to go to prison, but there were choices that set in motion the events that lead him there. It wasn’t his choice on how he was treated, but there were choices made how he would live with his new reality.
There was one choice that really stood out to me this time. Probably more importantly, it was what this choice meant.
“Get busy Living, Or Get Busy Dying.”
The CHOICE was a simple one. Though the quote comes toward the end of the movie, the short recap on how Andy got to the point where he shared that little nugget reveals that the choice to “get busy living” came some 20 years earlier.
Think about that for a moment.
We get bent out of shape when what we choose doesn’t come to fruition after 20 minutes. We whine, we “start over”, we give up… we STOP making the necessary choices that move us toward our goals, purpose, freedoms and by default, make the choice to do/go just the opposite.
Back in my radio days, I did a short 60 second clip on choice. I shared how I look at them as small building blocks. One foundational choice on top of another choice, stacking up to shape the life WE create. However, depending on how HIGH your goals were, you had to go just as DEEP in order for those choices to stand the test and weathering of time.
But in order to get that far, you have to do one very important thing…. own it.
Despite knowing his innocence, Andy chose to own his plight, circumstances and outcomes. This doesn’t mean he went with the flow or just let life happen however it was to be.
On the contrary. He took charge and chose to make deliberate actions to live in every moment however it was handed him. He was able to because he chose to hold on to the hope of what life COULD BE, if he could not only be free on the outside, but by choosing to be free on the inside of prison however possible.
Andy reiterates the importance of hope in a letter to his prison friend, Red, “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
But what really stood out to me in the movie this time as I watched, was what Andy chose to do over the course of those 20 years.
He chose to hold on to hope when he was harassed.
He chose to hold on to hope when he was beaten.
He chose to hold on to hope when he was raped.
He chose to hold on to hope when he crawled through 500 yards of raw sewage to freedom.
It was a simple choice. It’s always a simple choice. The question is never in the choice being made, it is whether or not we have enough hope to see it through.
Are you facing a choice? Of course you are!
Within every moment there is an opportunity to choose whether or not you’re going to get busy living, or get busy dying.
Have hope. Seek Truth. Keep inching forward, no matter how much crap you find yourself having to crawl through to come out clean on the other side.
talk to you next time,