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We’ve Been Given the Keys

I was on a bathroom break yesterday during a regular clinical day at the hospital. I’d been knee-deep in preparing a research article presentation, and wasn’t thinking about much else.

Upon entering the facilities, I noticed a key on the window sill. Likely it had been found by someone who was helping out a fellow human, wanting to help locate their pre 2000’s era GM vehicle’s door key.

Yes, this kind of information went through my head. And, while this is entirely normal for me to have this kind of thought fly through my cranium upon seeing a random object, there is some depth to a key like this. I remembered my first car…which used a key exactly like this one.

The first car I drove was a 1991 S10. It was my uncle’s truck; a white, stripped-down fleet vehicle he had purchased off the lot the year after it was released. Rubber floor, vinyl seats – it was the perfect car to clean out after a bad coffee spill; no cup holders, no A/C – it was a truck. It also was a standard transmission with a gear shifter that was about 2 feet long. Some of my fast and furious friends pointed this out to me once.

When I was 12, my uncle taught me to shift from the passenger seat in this very same truck in the Seattle area. I remember him coaching me “ok, now” and I’d attempt to get it into the right gear with about a 50% accuracy rate (*grind grind grind*) He’d patiently tell me which gear I was actually in and then punch the clutch to allow me another try.

This truck came all the way from Seattle. It came on a car-transport trailer directly from Seattle to East Cleveland when I was 16 years old. My uncle and my dad worked out a deal that basically was a gift for me to drive it because both of them wanted me to drive it.

This is the same car I took my driver’s test in, and the same car I drove to a summer job that I had in a paint factory…a job at a spray paint factory my parents and this same uncle had worked out for me. My uncle had a connection through his work in the northwest with a director of the factory, and when I arrived at the interview the head of HR said “you’re somebody’s nephew, I heard?” That was my ‘in;’ I was somebody’s nephew.

A verse from scripture came to mind as I pondered the key, Matthew 16:19:

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Reflection: Maybe you’re like me; I get overwhelmed with the work that is necessary in family, in ministry and in my own impact on those around me. I want to do well, and with that (at times) I take it upon myself to make things happen. Not always wrong, but sometimes it is. Sometimes I’m forcing things to happen or jumping the gun.

If we’ve been ‘given the keys to the kingdom,’ and the gospel has been just given to us like the truck, the job, then our day-to-day can look different. Not forced.

“I’m somebody’s nephew,” or, more importantly, “I’m somebody’s son,” and my Father has “established the steps of (the) man when he delights in His way” (Psalm 37, ESV). The access to the work I have to do has been given to me like a key, the keys placed in my hand, and the relationship I have is more than sufficient to get me in the door to whatever the day may hold.

Thanks for the love, the truck and the job, mom, dad and uncle. Also, if anyone reading this is missing a door key for your pre-2000’s GM in the Central-Cincinnati area, I know where you can find it…

By: David Chapdelaine

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