Ponderings wth Doug – September 21, 2018


Last week I was at the St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, North Carolina. We were deep in the woods learning. I missed you.

In North Carolina, I rented a vehicle to transport colleagues from the Greensboro airport to the Prayer Center and back. The vehicle was my secret weapon in case the Hurricane kept the Louisiana folks from getting a flight out. We would drive out of North Carolina. Also, vehicle was handy in case of a Walmart run. We found ourselves going to Walmart a couple of times during the week. Even deep in the woods, we located Walmart.

The vehicle was smarter than I am. It was a SUV. It had all the digital goodies. The vehicle came with a key fob. There was no key, just this thing that allowed you to enter the vehicle and start it. I have already referred you to the good old days when cars had push button starters. We are back to the future in many ways.

The fob did everything a key might do, including starting the vehicle while one was walking across the parking lot toward the vehicle.

When I was a little boy, keys were my thing. I loved keys. I loved real keys.

I had a great source of keys too. My grandfather was a policeman. It seems that back in the 60’s people would lose keys at a very high rate. Pop would bring me bags of keys from time to time. I’m sure I was only receiving three or four at a time, but to me they appeared as a mountain of plenty.

I had a key ritual. I would separate out the door and house keys from the car keys.
Back in the day, each motor company had a key design unique to that motor company. For this article we will illustrate with the Ford Motor Company. Because Ford also made Mercury products the keys were interchangeable. If you worked at it, you might discover a Mercury car key would fit a Ford product.

One Friday night, Pop stopped by with a bag of keys. I quickly sorted the keys. I took the car keys outside for an experiment.

I don’t know how I knew this, but I had a couple of Mercury keys which I took outside. I crawled into the driver’s seat of our 1961 Ford Galaxy and started testing keys. The Mercury ignition keys would fit into the Ford ignition. (You remember, of course the difference between the ignition keys and the trunk keys?) While the Mercury keys fit into the ignition, they would not turn the tumblers.

My key experiment was nearly completed when I put a Mercury key into the ignition and turned it. The 1961 Ford Galaxy roared to life. I then followed the pattern I had learned from adults. I pulled the shift lever down into “D.” “D” meant go!

The car lurched forward and traveled about five feet into the side of the house. The dent in the house was still there 40 years later!

Thus began my illustrious driving career.

The adults filed out of the house. Mom, Dad and Pop the policeman all asked, “How did you start the car?” I shared my key knowledge. Pop cut off my Ford Motor key supply. I did have a large collection of General Motors keys that I had decided to try on whoever owned one of those cars. Pop owned a Chevrolet. I had developed a testing plan for that automobile.

Jesus has given us the keys to the Kingdom. No need to be locked in or locked out. You have the keys. Often you have the power to set yourself free.