Prison Blues


He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly
and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 NIV

“This futile process exasperates prison officials.” 

I laughed out loud when I read that sample sentence. “Futile process” is an immediate predecessor to exasperation. When I feel like all my best efforts don’t make one bit of difference, I run the risk of becoming an incensed, irritated, vexed prison official.

If I’m being honest, that’s definitely one type of hat I wear more often than I’d like to admit. But, there are also definitely days that I’m NOT that prison official. What makes the difference?

The days I start my day reading the Bible I notice more elasticity to my attitude. I accept changes in my agenda with MORE grace than I would otherwise. I snap on my friends and family less. I think less toxic thoughts and respond with less sarcasm.

I think it’s because reading the Bible helps me remember exactly what IS a futile process and what is NOT.

The prophet Micah helped me sort that out today when he reminded God’s people of exactly the same thing. The Israelites wanted to find a way to patch things up with God after they screwed up (again).

Israelites to Micah: “What can we bring to the LORD to make up for what we’ve done? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and tens of thousands of rivers of olive oil? Would that please the LORD? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for the sins of our souls? Would that make him glad?” (Micah 6:6-7 NLT)

Translation: We screwed up. We did what God asked us not to do. How many dozen roses do you figure would fix this?

Micah’s Response: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV)  

No roses. No sacrifices. Those things will just turn you into an exasperated prison official because that’s NOT what God wants from you. All he wants is for you to:

Act Justly
Love Mercy
Walk Humbly With Him

There is nothing futile about that. On the days that I remember to put those on my To-Do List, I’m a much more content, joyful person no matter what comes my way. God’s words have a way of clearing out the pieces  of exasperating clutter and futile processes until all that’s left is peace.


Dear Lord, thank you so much for reminding me again of what matters and what doesn’t. Your words bring me peace that’s so deep and comforting – please help me remember to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you every single day. Amen.

photo credit: <a href=”″>Behind Bars</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Love it!


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