I made a numb-brain mistake the other day.  We were staying at our daughter and son in-love’s   while she was in the hospital birthing our twin grandbabies. I wanted to vacuum their floors before she brought the babies home from the hospital. The filter/dirt container on the sweeper was nearly full so I took it outside to empty it. The interior garage door automatically locked behind me. I patted my jean pockets and felt only some coins.

KeyInPocketI was in a dilemma. My cell phone was inside the house. My car was in the driveway and locked. The car keys were inside the house. All the doors and windows of their house were locked. The hospital was several miles away–definitely too far to walk. I didn’t know of any hidden keys and I had no phone to call my son in-law or daughter to ask if there were any secret ways to get back into the house.

I was contemplating solutions. I walked over to a neighbor’s house in the cul-de-sac that had a car in the driveway. She answered the door. I explained. She gave me her cell phone to use and I called my wife. I waited. My wife delivered a set of keys from the hospital and let me back inside.

I decided I better find the house key and put it in my pocket so this foolishness wasn’t repeated. I looked in all the places I might have left it. It was missing. I checked my pockets – this time I actually put my hand inside. Behold!!! The missing house key was in my pocket. Yes, it was there the entire time.

Sometimes there are other situations in life that are similar. We have the solution, the answer, the key—right in our pocket the whole time. We just don’t use it for one or more of the following reasons:

We fail to thoroughly assess all our options. This is what I did. I wasn’t thorough. I never actually put my hand in my pocket to find the key among all the loose change in my pocket. I missed the most obvious option available to me.

We panic and get tunnel vision. Some times we get into a predicament and then we loose our peripheral vision. We only focus on the quandary we are in. We don’t look at the 360 picture. We overlook the options that might be available to us. This is why the counsel of other wise people is very important at times like this.

We get paralysis by analysis. Some of us are more prone to this than others are. We get in a tough spot and then spend so much energy trying to analyze all the options to get out of the difficulty that we are immobilized.  I could have sat waiting for someone to come to my rescue but I decided to go ring a neighbor’s doorbell.

What area of your life are you stuck, stymied, at an impasse? Have you assessed all your options? Are you reacting too quickly or overreacting? Are you so obsessed with analyzing all the possibilities that you are experiencing paralysis? And by the way, have you thoroughly checked your pockets?


QUESTION: What have you found to be helpful in resolving a dilemma? Please share in the comment section below.


3 responses to The Key In Your Pocket

  1. Steve on August 26, 2013 at 7:26 AM Reply

    I loved this story because I have been in this situation myself. I know that I should just stop and Pray, but that is not always the first thing that comes to mind. If I take a minute, remove myself from the situation, and ask God for help, He can usually get me unstuck.

  2. Lillian Bradley on August 8, 2013 at 11:11 AM Reply

    I have been in that situation myself. Today I take a second, Minutes, or minutes to ask God for help. I find with me 99 9/10’s of the time is my pride, what will people think of me. The Serenity Prayer helps a lot too. I always end up laughing at myself and see how powerless I am over myself and how I need God for everything all day long. I am always amazed at your level of honesty Dennis. You are the most humbled person I have ever met. And I want you to know your message always gets through to me. I can imagine all the people you have helped brought the word of God with these blessings God has given you.
    Lillian Bradley

  3. Lynne Wilson on August 7, 2013 at 10:35 AM Reply

    What I do is pray and then ask myself where is that stupid key. Then I think and think and … the Lord gives me an answer but not all at once. Thankfully the lady at my senior citizen park had a key to my place. When I bought the place they had a spare key and that was good they had one. I usually put it in my storage place but took it out and forgot to put it back. God helped me get in though. We .are not as smart as God and he looks out for me, thankfully. My memory is ?
    Pray for me.

    Lynne Wilson

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