Adam Johnston was serving a life sentence for a murder committed in his teen years, and yet took advantage of progressive prison education programs. Like all prisons, there was an active black-market economy for pirated movies and the like. But Johnston took this to a whole new level. Many inmates were tasked with tearing down old computers and sending the parts out to a recycling company. Johnston saw an opportunity. He smuggled some computers, piece by piece, and hid them in the ceiling. He then stole a password, so he could get online, and just like that he had access to the prison’s internal files. He looked up inmates and could give them clearance to restricted areas. He ordered credit cards based on those files. As usual, he got sloppy and caught. Still, the level of this scheme was impressive. And that got me thinking: why are we often more creative when hiding our bad behavior than we are in doing things for Jesus? We find, to use the words of Jesus, easier to be “as harmless as doves” than we do to “be as wise as serpents” (Mt. 10:16). We are financial genius’ when it comes to saving money for that thing we want, but often unimaginative dullards when it comes to God’s work. This story has led me to ask myself: am I giving the best of myself to God?

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