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A Key In Hand Is Worth A Thousand On My Desk

By Rev. James L. Snyder

A key fault I have, and I can only talk about one fault at a time, is the tendency to get busy. I often find myself chasing my own tail. What I will do with it when I catch it is beyond my understanding. However, this notwithstanding, I fall into the trap time after time of getting too busy for my own good.

The faster I try to go; the less I seem to accomplish.

This past week proved no exception; in fact, everything came to a head on Monday. I had my To-Do-List all prioritized and neatly written on several 3 by 5 cards stuffed in my shirt pocket. Earlier I went through them item by item to make sure I could maximize the day. After all, "The early bird catches the worm."

Being the turkey I am, I have no idea what I'm going to do with the worm when I catch it, particularly if it's early in the morning when all I want is a good cup of coffee. Yet, I can often be found imitating that "early bird" scurrying around with my list of important things to do.

Getting back to my Monday catastrophe, and I can't think of another word that adequately describes last Monday. Sure, I've had catastrophes before. But this one was the wicked stepmother of all catastrophes.

After organizing my 3 by 5 cards, I made some mental notes as to how long each job would take. Returning those cards to my shirt pocket, I smiled the smile of one who has conquered his day. I felt good about myself and was anxious to get started on my day.

My day started out rather well. In fact, I discovered by mid-morning I was ahead of schedule. I chuckled to myself and thought, "next time I'll have a longer To-Do-List."

Suddenly, everything came to a screech owl halt.

I needed to pick up something at my office, which would only take a moment. I pulled up to my office door, jumped out of the car and unlocked the office door.

The office door can only be locked from the outside, with a key. The inside has a handicap bar according to the building code. I thought I would save time by unlocking the door and then locking it while I went inside to retrieve the item I needed. This would mean when I came to leave I could walk out, shut the door behind me and it would lock automatically.

This would save me exactly.00003 seconds of time. As time is precious, I thought it worth the effort.

The plan was going fine. Walking past my desk, I laid my keys on top of my desk. About this time I remembered something I needed from the car and dashed out to retrieve it. Just as I got to my car, I heard the door slam shut and one thought meandered through my stunned mind; "the keys."

The keys were exactly where I had left them - on my desk in my office.

My first thought was to panic. So, for about seven minutes I luxuriated in sheer panic.

My second thought was, "how am I going to get inside the building?"

I must confess my second thought drowned out my first. Some may have the luxury of indulging in panic, but I was on a schedule. My To-Do-List was begging to be done that day.

I circled the building three times and then laid down in sheer bewilderment. Not one door was unlocked. Not one window was accessible from the outside. All the effort put into making our building burglarproof was my nightmare in shinning alarm.

I thought of breaking a window but what if someone saw me? Also, I'd have to pay for the damages.

In my mind, I went over everybody who had a key to our church. Everyone I could think of was out of town or working. Even my wife was in Daytona Beach.

Then I had a brilliant thought. I must confess I don't have many but when I do, it brightens up my day. "The builder of the church might have a key." For some odd reason I had my cell phone with me, so I called the builder.

Unfortunately for me, he did not have a spare key to our building. My heart sank into the sole of my right foot because I had no options left.

Then the builder said, "I'll send one of my carpenters over to take a door off and let you in." I did not know that could be done, but I was glad for any help I could get at this point.

Within a few moments, the carpenter showed up. As he got out of his truck, I could see a sly smile smeared all over his puss. I took it like a man; a man locked out of his own office.

He spent about an hour taking the door off its hinges. Just as he finished my cell phone rang. A lady from the church with a spare church key was five minutes away.

I never told the carpenter about the last minute key because he worked so hard taking the door off and then putting it back on again.

Only one key in life really matters and that is Jesus, who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6 KJV.)

He is the only key that opens the door to heaven and I can never lose him.

About The Author

Reverend Snyder is currently ministering at the "Family of God Fellowship" in Ocala, Florida. More of his articles are available for reprint at his website:

Rev. Snyder is available as a guest speaker. He writes a weekly column and is the author of "You Can Always Tell a Pastor; But Not Very Much " available at:


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