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What Time I Have Left

Chuck Colson tells the following story of visiting Mississippi's Parchman Prison:

Most of the death row inmates were in their bunks wrapped in blankets, staring blankly at little black-and-white TV screens, killing time. But in one cell a man was sitting on his bunk, reading. As I approached, he looked up and showed me his book—an instruction manual on Episcopal liturgy.
John Irving, on death row for more than 15 years, was studying for the priesthood. John told me he was allowed out of his cell one hour each day. The rest of the time, he studies.
Seeing that John had nothing in his cell but a few books, I thought, God's blessed me so much, the least I can do is provide something for this brother. "Would you like a TV if I could arrange it?" I asked.
John smiled gratefully. "Thanks," he said, "but no thanks. You can waste an awful lot of time with those things." For the 15 years since a judge placed a number on his days, John has determined not to waste the one commodity he had to give to the Lord—his time.

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