Saturday, July 30, 2011

K is for Keys

Before I decided to dedicate my life and career to ministry, I worked for the YMCA.  I loved working for the YMCA and with the middle school and High School youth.  I was in charge of a lot of programs during my time at the Y.  I really enjoyed running lock ins at the Y.  We would have them every couple of months to raise money for Leader’s Club. 

One night a lock in I game one of the youth my keys so that they could get some sporting equipment out of the closet.  They also wanted to get some whistles out of my office so that they could have a referee.  I didn’t think much of it because I often gave my keys to youth so they could set things up.  I remember very clearly that I was sitting in the game room watching TV with a couple of youth when they came into the game room.  The first thing I said was “Hey guys, let me have me keys please.”  One of them looked at me and then turned his face toward the floor. “I’m sorry Eric, umm, We locked your keys in your office.”  I jumped up.  “You did what?” I said, more surprised than mad. 
It was three o clock in the morning and my keys were locked in the office.  We went down to the office and looked through the door and there, on my desk were my keys.  I tried the door with the hope that they just didn’t push hard enough, but it was locked.  The handle was one of those kinds that pushed down to open the door. 
My first response was to go up to the main office and see if I could find some extra keys.  The office was locked so I couldn’t even get in there.  I tried a couple of offices but they were all locked.  I went back to my office door.  By now I had about 5 youth with me.  They were all freaking out that we couldn’t get into my office.  As we stood there starring at the problem, I remembered that if you pushed down on the inside handle, we could get the door to open.   There was a small opening between the bottom of the door and the floor.  If we could find something that we could slip under the door, we could open it by pulling down on the handle.
We searched the Y for something to use and one of the youth came out of a closet with a wire hanger.  It was perfect.  I took it and twisted the end into a loop.  We slipped it under the door and tried over and over again to catch the loop around the door handle.  We tried for an hour, me and the five youth that were with me each took a turn.  After an hour we were ready to give up.  I told them I was going to try one more time then we would take a break.  I redid the loop at the end of the hanger and pushed it under the door.  Twisting and turning, I was able to get the loop over the door handle.  Very carefully and gently I pulled down on the door handle.  Just as the hanger was about to slide off the door handle, I gave it one last tug down and pushed hard on the door.  The door swung open and hit the back office wall with a thud.  We all yelled and cheered and clapped.  We were so sleep deprived and it was so wonderful to be able to get my keys.  I grabbed them and unlocked the door and I wouldn’t give them up the rest of the night.
Have you ever had something that was just out of your reach?  You could see it but you just couldn’t grab it. That door handle was just out of my reach.  I was ready to give up.  Often in life we give up.  We are probably very close to reaching our goal but before we can accomplish it, we give up.  We walk away, but if we are persistent, if we try hard, we can accomplish anything.  If we have faith and look deep inside ourselves and keep trying, we can reach our goals.  
It is hard not to walk away or not to give up when it doesn’t look like you can accomplish a goal.  It is much easier to walk away or let someone else deal with the problem.  Jesus never walked away.  He preformed miracles and helped so many people.  He feed them when they were hungry and healed them when they were sick.  We must be Christ like in our actions and never walk away.  We may not be able to solve every problem or fix every situation, we can try and be there until the goal is reached or the problem is resolved. 
Opening a door is not Christ like, but being persistent, patient, and understanding are Christ like qualities.  May we all be able to open the door for others so that they can walk in the light of Christ.    

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