I Noticed His Keys

I had stopped at a Chic-fil-A. I chose a high top table by the window. In front of me was a younger man with what looked to be a journal lying beside him. I have journaled for the last year and a half and thought about asking him if he journaled, but I didn’t. That may have been too personal, like asking about someone’s age or weight.

After the younger man left, I noticed an older man measuring tabletops and writing down the measurements on a tablet he held in his hand. I could only see two different sizes of tables and couldn’t figure out why he was measuring them all.

I also noticed that he had two key chains attached to belt loops on his left and right. I estimated he had well over fifty keys. Why did he need so many? How could he remember which was which? With my luck I would try every key on one of the two key chains only to find out the key was on the other key chain.

On my single little key chain are five keys: a Post Office box key, a car key, a house key, a storage lock key, and a key to a family member’s house. I don’t want to live in a world where I need 50 or more keys. I would have to wear suspenders and a belt to keep my pants up and, as my mother used to say, have the patience of Job.

The things I treasure most don’t have keys. My faith in Christ is never locked or hidden. My love for my family can’t be locked. The beauty of a sunny day after several days of rain can’t be locked down and preserved. I could go on, but I am sure you get my point.

I once gave my wife a very special key. Dad and I were in his basement workshop just piddling around until an idea popped into my head. I made a little wooden heart and a wooden skeleton key, which I glued to the heart. When finished, Dad and I went upstairs. I handed the heart and key to my wife, saying, “You have the key to my heart.” The symbolism of that key, which I still have, is a priceless treasure.

Keys are a necessary fact of life, but our real treasure cannot be secured with lock and key.

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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