There I found myself, kicking the dirt and gravel and jiggling the lock as if the door would somehow magically open, my keys inside, sitting happily between my seat and the console.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I rolled out of bed at 9:05am yesterday, Sunday, with light shining through my window. The blue striped dress and grey sweater was “good enough” for this particular morning, and I left for church at 9:45am.
As I placed my key in the ignition of my car, I thought to myself, “it takes this one little piece of metal to move this entire car,” and as I drove down 16th Street to take a left onto River, I began singing (poorly) to the music on the station of which I can’t remember the name.
Then I went to church.
Then I went to Meijer.
Then I went home. Then I locked my car.
The last I saw of my car keys was when I unlocked the door of my apartment.
I set my keychain on the coffee table, apparently without the car keys attached. But I didn’t realize this for forty minutes until I scrambled out of the house to a group meeting at 2pm.
I ended up riding my bike.
And when I came home, I dug through my living room. Reorganized my room. Dumped everything out of my backpack. I got nervous.
And what God told me wasn’t what I would expect. He told me,
You have them, but I’m not showing them to you yet.
In that moment I went from a sitting position on the floor to face-first into the carpet of my bedroom. That’s when God told me something important.
“You can spend time looking at things at things I’ve promised, but they’re not going to work without me.”
You can spend all of your time staring at your car, but it will not work without the key. It’s locked. It won’t work. And no matter how many times you jiggle the lock, nothing is going to change.
The things in my life in which I seek change seem big, I think. Bigger than God sometimes. The same way that a giant car moves with a tiny key.
And I trusted Him when He said that I would find them, but I didn’t want it to be true. There was a part of me that wanted to find it on my own.
I tore apart my entire house (again.)
I dug through the mulch, looked under my car, and in the grass; but I found nothing. I found nothing except God telling me once again, “You have them, but I’m not showing them to you yet.”
I filled out a lost and found report at Campus Safety. I knocked on the window of my car. Kicked at the dirt. I was afraid that someone else would find the key before me. I was afraid someone would unlock what was mine.
My mind raced, but my heart knew what was true.
I chose God’s peace. And I went to sleep.
I woke up Monday and biked to Chapel, where I complained to my friends that I was missing my keys, even though I knew what God had told me.
I let it get the best of me, all the while still knowing that I had them, somewhere, somewhere I could not find. Somewhere only God knew.
A friend came over and we unraveled a wire hanger. We got the car unlocked.
The keys weren’t in it.
He went home and I sat in the backseat of my unlocked SUV, arms crossed. I started praying again.
You can cheat your way in, He told me, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to work.
So I started taking stuff out of my car: my Patagonia backpack with my Bible in it, my empty Tervis mug, a couple dollar bills I keep in my console for “in case of emergency” coffee.
That’s when I remembered my umbrella was in the trunk. I walked to the back of my car and as I went to lift the handle, I glanced down at my bumper.
And there, sitting pleasantly, were my keys.
I’m closer than you think.
So close. On top of the item that was locked.
I don’t know how long there were sitting there.
But what I found was what I was promised, completely intact, the way God promised Moses and Mary and Nehemiah and Joshua and Abraham.
I get it. This could have been completely disastrous, ending with a stolen car and a loss of my Bible, backpack, umbrella and four dollars. But it wasn’t.
Walking around in the wilderness could have been disastrous, but it wasn’t.
Abraham went out of the will of God and He still provided what was promised at the beginning.
That’s what I forgot, I think. What God says, goes.
We don’t have to work harder or do what the world says when God says something that is contrary.
The Gospel is reckless. It is interruptive, disruptive and counter-intuitive.
Living a Gospel-saturated life is reckless. It is interruptive, disruptive and counter-intuitive. And reckless, interruptive, disruptive and counter-intuitive things happen when we believe in the God who wrote the Gospel.
We can act with our gut, or we can act with God.
But God is the one who will prevail.