I drive a violet gray 2012 Ford Fiesta hatchback. I start it with a key remote combo, which I suppose many newer models have. Those details are a bit important.
I drove my car to church that fresh morning of Friday, July 11, 2014. I hopped out of my car, locked it, then headed into the church. Half way there, I realized I had forgotten some things and went back to get them. After retrieving them, I walked away from my car, locking it with the button on my remote, as usual. Those details are very important.
Upon entering the building, I set my things down on my teaching table and scurried off to photocopy a song before Bible school started. Those last minutes were a flurry of activity. My sister brought my brother’s booster, wanting to put it in my car. I went to give her my keys. They weren’t where I usually put them in my purse. Pushed for time, she stowed the booster under my table, and I headed off to teacher’s devotions.
That day, we started our class with a little science lesson. We explored solids by knocking on the table and each others’ heads (only Gr. 5 boys!). We watched food colouring travel through a glass of water and discussed moving molecules. We experienced the speedy movements of gas molecules as perfume was squirted into the air. My half dozen boys breathed through their shirts. The girls wanted to take the perfume home.
Then I asked them. Is God most like a solid, liquid, or gas. Some smart girls soon told me that God is like a gas, because He is everywhere. That detail is crucial.
Reminded of this, we proceeded to the story of Jonah, a man who foolishly tried to run away from God. The morning was soon over.
I cleaned up my classroom for the weekend, picking up garbage, piling left-behind sweaters on a table in the corner, wiping the tables, and organizing. I never saw my keys. I began to search in earnest over the whole classroom floor and chairs. I searched the benches upstairs; the lost and found; the photocopier room ; the kitchen, where I had filled water pitchers; and everywhere in between. I even cleaned out my purse and examined the ground from the church to my car–twice! I prayed as I walked.
Feeling sorry for the children with me still waiting for a ride home, I swallowed my independent pride and called home. My dad agreed to bring me the spare key. While we waited, I continued to search. Pausing, crouched on my classroom floor, I prayed, “God, I’m trusting you to help me find my keys or provide the money for a new one.” Yet, still I worried.
My dad arrived. As I walked across the dusty parking lot, I noticed the van keys in his left hand. Hanging out of his right hand was the dog-eared, plastic Parkway Ford tag. “Where did you find it?” I asked. I was relieved they were found–and embarrassed I had missed them, presuming he found them by my car.
“What do you mean?” he puzzled. “They were on the hook.”
I laughed and cried as I told him, “That’s not the spare. That’s my key.” Incredulous, I wondered if I had driven to Bible school with the spare somehow. (I am intensely scatter-brained, after all.) I drove home, praising and wondering if I would find the spare keys when I got home.
I hurried in the door. Hanging from its usual hook, was the spare key on the same ring as my sister’s spare. You see, it has no plastic, Parkway Ford tag.
I don’t know why God chose to move my keys that day. Maybe we were spared an accident waiting to happen. Maybe He needed to test my faith. I definitely can use the reminder that He is in control. Everywhere. Always.