Two days ago, we were having our normal, Friday Family Fun Day (yes, we have our family day on Friday while most everyone else is working…it’s awesome!).
We had already had breakfast together, played miniature golf, purchased my daughter some shoes for our upcoming trip and picked up a few treats from the Paletería (that’s a Mexican popsicle place for those that don’t habla español) before heading home for a break.
It had been a pretty fun day up to that point.
Once we had pulled into the driveway, things started falling apart on me.
My wife was gathering the trash in the car as I was unbuckling my daughter from her car seat and attempting to clean up the dropped pieces of her Popsicle that had been melting onto our backseat.
Once I had completed my “good enough” attempt at cleaning, I grabbed the shopping bag and made sure my daughter was out of the car before hitting the lock button and closing the door…with my keys inside.
Yep. I had committed the most annoying error known to mankind and the weekend started to take it’s turn toward the Dark Side.
Since our spare key was on my wife’s key chain securely locked inside our house, I had to figure out a way to get inside. After a short walk around the exterior looking for an unlocked window, we noticed the upstairs bathroom window had been left open a bit (for reasons that should be clear to anyone who eats food).
So, I grabbed the ladder I had been leaving outside during my garage renovation project and climbed up to the window and managed to fit my 6’4” body through that 2×3 opening (thank you, P90X Yoga!) and get my family inside to the coolness and safety of our home.
Mere inconvenience. I could deal with that and actually thought it was resolved pretty quickly.
However, as I mentioned, this was only the beginning.
After few hours, we started to gather our things up to head out to the store and grab a few snacks for our flight in a couple of days. It was at this point when I realized I did not have the spare, electronic key/remote for my wife’s car, which I continue to keep separate from my keychain because I am an idiot who is too lazy to get a key ring and add it to my current set. Well, that and just having another bulky piece of anything added to my key ring and filling my front pocket just does not appeal to me.
If this were 10-15 years ago, no big deal. I’d go to Home Depot and have them make me another key for a few bucks and resolve that problem. But now, in this age of technology, I am facing a $500 fee to replace this little dude and I am not about to do that right now.
I go into search mode. I start with the normal places where I usually set down my keys, wallet, phone, etc.
I go to those secondary areas like the couch, car, home office (or daughter’s bedroom when she decides to play in there) and our room.
Then, I start retracing my steps and going over and over in my mind each room I visited while we were home. I looked outside, inside, on the floor, under appliances, behind bags, in the trash, random high places where only I can reach.
We ended up still running out to complete our errands and grab some dinner, but that missing key/remote was really starting to get to me.
Ever wonder how close you are to insanity? Lose something small, important and expensive to replace and you will find out.
I felt like my mind was heading down this rabbit hole of anger, annoyance and suspicion and I was starting to lose control.
I begin to wonder if my daughter has decided to play one of her “hiding” games or maybe my wife accidentally threw it away or placed it somewhere else. The desperation gets so deep – after more than 24 hours missing – I start to clean the house because everyone knows missing things turn up magically once you start cleaning.
Of course, it seems other things naturally take a bad turn when you are in the midst of mental breakdown, which they did.
During all of this, my wife asked if I had prayed about finding the missing key. I was able to answer her question with a sincere “yes” as I had truly arrived at that level of desperation.
Why do I call it “desperation”? Because, I typically feel like if it is not really important, I don’t need to be bothering God about it. I don’t approach the throne of my Creator and ask him for my favorite sports team to win a game. I don’t beg him for cooler weather in the middle of a Texas summer. I don’t request for greater inspiration for my blog posts (although I probably should).
But I had come to a point where I felt I had no other choice and had come to the Lord in prayer – and complete embarrassment – to request His help in locating this tiny plastic-metal-electronic piece of pure frustration to alleviate my mental anguish.
24 hours later…I was left still with no key and growing emotional instability.
It’s scary too. You start looking at everyone suspiciously and wondering if an evil spirit is playing a joke on you (don’t laugh…I really said that to my wife).
Nonetheless, I was resolved to continue searching and replaying the moments surrounding that time in my head in hopes my memory would be jogged and I would finally remember where I placed the key.
And then…last night God used my daughter to answer my prayer.
Before we went to bed, I kept thinking about the possibility of the key falling out of my pocket while in our car. I had already searched the car, the seats, the floors and every nook I could think of at least four separate times, but the possibility I might have missed something seemed to give me hope and a peace enough to fall asleep.
Then, in the middle of the night, my precious little 4-year-old woke up for some reason and said, “you’ll find the key, Dad” and then went back to sleep.
It was weird and, once I had gained enough awareness to realize what she said, I actually tried to ask her if she knew where it was, but she was out already.
This morning, I was awake early and I decided to give the car another shot. I searched the driver’s seat and still found nothing. I then moved the seat all the way up and was thrilled to see the key resting on the bottom track.
And after my exhilaration and relief started to subdue, I felt truly humbled.
The Lord had reminded me there is nothing I cannot bring to Him…no matter how insignificant it may…because He cares for me.
May I never forget this lesson.