Before Arthur Turner “Bud” Morris died at home on December 15, 2012, following service to our country in the army in World War II and a 35-year career as a truck driver for Carolina Freight (see more here), he granted an interview for Atlanta’s NBC affiliate, WXIA, in which he not only claimed to be the cousin of famous Alcatraz escapee Frank Morris but more boldly that he helped him escape. In the interview (WXIA), he tells the reporter about giving multiple payoffs to prison guards presumably to get them to look the other way. Frank Morris, said to have had an IQ of 133, and brothers John and Clarence Anglin of Lee County, Georgia, disappeared and were thought drowned in the cold waters of the San Francisco Bay. However, anecdotal evidence and alleged sightings are offered to suggest these men actually did escape from the infamous Alcatraz Prison.
Whether or not they escaped from a place formerly thought impregnable and impossible, you and I have the opportunity to escape something far more imposing. Peter writes the scattered saints in his second epistle, reminding them of those exceeding great and precious promises that they came to possess “having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (1:4). The way to complete that escape is listed out, starting in verse five: faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. I have lived long enough to see those young, middle-aged, and old, caught in the trap of the world. They started or became faithless, without virtue, spiritually ignorant, undisciplined, without endurance, ungodly, unkind, and unloving. They didn’t just slip up and find themselves guilty of these things from time to time. They allowed themselves to be imprisoned to such things because of their “lust,” their desire for the world. Their view of past and future were distorted, and it hurt them in their present, day to day lives (cf. 1:9).
For Morris and the Anglins, the promise was freedom from a dank prison and the hopelessness of their sentence there. For you and me, it is the exceeding great and precious promises that should cause us to sharpen our view of the past we’ve escaped and the future we trust in. Don’t give up! Continue your daring escape!