This article is a continuation of Where are you? – 2. I recommend strongly that you read the first two series on this so that you can understand the journey ahead of where I’ll be starting today. So far we have used the story of Joseph as a case study to understand the cardinal points in the journey of every achiever. We’ve talked about the progression of Joseph through the 6P’s in his life.
We have moved with Joseph from Padanaram (the plain ground), a place where all men seem equal, the place where Joseph learnt, and experienced the joy of being decorated with many colours. We moved with him to the Pit, a temporary place of seeming demotion, a place of waiting without control of the period of waiting, a place where as it were your fate is being determined by others, an interview waiting room of some sort. We moved with him to Potiphar’s house, a place very much unlike home, the place of starting small and finishing strong, the career place, the place of growth and responsibility, a place of learning by doing, a place that can be mistaken for the palace, also a place of testing. We have in our journey with Joseph moved with him through all these phases, and just witnessed a swift turn of events as the man Joseph is wrongly accused and heads for the next P of his life, the prison! Read on
The prison is not a desirable place to be in. Trust me, I know. I remember sometime about 6yrs ago, when I had the opportunity of getting access into one of the cells in police custody – not even the real prison. I was there to visit the people in “prison” and share some thoughts with them. When I entered their cell, my heart skipped a bit. The walls were black, very black, and the ceilings were stained with the words of those whose only means of expression had been reduced to what they could leave behind on the walls. “Jalingo waz hia”, “Aye Le”, ” E no go beta for my enemies” e.t.c. these are samples of signages that adorned the walls and ceilings. By being inside the walls of the prison alone, the inhabitants looked like criminals, it didn’t matter if they were guilty of innocent. They all sounded the same, “I didn’t do it”. The prison is not an easy place to visit, how much more live in, but Joseph did get to the prison, on his way to achievement.
The Prison is a place of limitation, a place where your choices are limited and your freedom impaired. It’s the place where many become grumblers and find excuses for a level of life lower than they believe they deserve. The prison looks like a setback, but in reality could be a place of confinement to further hone natural God-given skills.
The prison is the confining stages in our lives. Here you are, you’ve just left full time employment, either by your own free will, or you were pushed. You head for where you think is the place of your dreams, an entrepreneurial venture, and you are shocked to discover that the first few months or year is like a prison. You have fewer choices, your freedom is hampered and you live on a strict budget. You are under pressure, and you can either stay and fight or run away. You can either accept your current position, and still keep your eyes focused on the best, or you can begin to write on the walls.
I dare say there is no palace without the prison, those who will live in affluence and authority must first pass through the school of discipline, else their stay in the princely quarters is only but for a while. Those who will be much, must first endure not enough. Except a seed of grain falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone. The prison is that stage of our lives where we identify with our purpose, where the final strokes of the brush that make us a masterpiece are applied.
In prison, Joseph displayed again that when you are set to live your dreams, you rise to the top of any organization. Joseph, within the space of two years became a trusted prisoner. In prison Joseph was able to hone his dreams interpretation skills. He was able to add value to people even behind bars. The prison is the place where our attitudes are tested. Your attitude determines your altitude in life, and that was what got Joseph to be the prisoner in charge.
It might interest you to note, that when Joseph had the opportunity of interpreting someone’s dream in prison, Joseph asked him to remember him when he got out. He was sure that the prison was not his destination, but a mere passage. When he finally got an opportunity to be invited to see the Pharaoh, Joseph changed his clothes and shaved his beards. He did not go to the palace as a prisoner, he went with a change of clothing. He went to the palace with the consciousness of someone who had a date with destiny. He didn’t see himself as a prisoner, he say himself as one who journeyed through. As one who was destined to live his dreams, and his short visit to thepalace, became a permanent one.
From prison to palace, Joseph moved. In the next article we will be looking at the Palace and Prime minister.