My wife was called in for jury duty last week. She went in Monday for selection. After seven hours at the courthouse (30 seconds of which were spent actually talking to someone), she found out she was selected.

My wife is a PA and sees 40 to 50 patients per day – all of which had to cancel their appointments for the days she was in court. She spent all of Tuesday listening to the prosecutor and found out she would have to come in the next day. She spent Wednesday listening to part of the defense and found out she would have to come back the next day. She spent Thursday listening to the defense and closing arguments, only to find out that she was an alternate and had no say in the verdict.

While the jury went into a separate room and deliberated, she had to remain in another room in the courthouse for three hours doing nothing! Finally, the judge had mercy on her and let her go home. He just told her to be near a phone in case she was needed.

This whole thing got me thinking about our judicial system. First of all, its inefficiencies are unacceptable.  Thousands of tax dollars were wasted and the jurors lost thousands of dollars of revenue. I’m all for providing civic duty, but that is no excuse for inefficiency.

The other thing I thought about was the judicial process. It’s a little scary to think that a handful of common people with little legal knowledge have the power to decide if someone spends a portion of their life in prison. I guess the system works, but I’ve seen the people around here. If I were accused of some crime, I would be terrified to turn my fate over to someone whose judgment led them to decisions like, “You know what, this mullet rocks! I think I’ll keep it.”

Lesson time kids…

If we feel it is terrifying to let common people with little legal knowledge have the power to decide if we spend a portion of our life in prison, why do we let those same people decide what kind of house we should have, car we should drive, job we should take, or how much money we should make. Think about it. A lot of the stuff we buy and do is nothing more than a status symbol. If we allow others to dictate what we do with our lives, we are allowing people with little knowledge of our gifts and passions to imprison us in our own little self-constructed cell. The only way to free ourselves is to get beyond what others think and actually seek to do that which we were created to do.