Months ago, maybe almost a year now, my Mom's car keys went missing. I mean completely missing. It was as if they vanished into thin air. Here is a Reader's Digest version of what unfolded.
I was at home in Erie sitting on the couch when my Mom called explaining that she had locked her keys in the car at my brother's house while she was making a quick stop to drop off a few of his kids after they had gone out on a special "date" with Grandma. She had intended to just see them into the house and then head home but when she went back out to her car it was locked - a rather unusual occurrence for a woman who never locks anything. She couldn't see the keys inside so she looked in the house. She couldn't find the keys in the house so she assumed they must be somewhere in the car out of eye sight. She asked me to run her spare set over so she could unlock the car and drive home. There was just a little problem: the spare set was no where to be found either. I looked around the house but couldn't find them.
Plan B was put in place and a locksmith was called. He came, opened the door and, voila! No keys! Now the situation was truly perplexing. Everyone went into a full-on hunt for the lost keys. Everyone, young and old, joined in on the effort. We searched through garbage cans, bushes, buckets of toys, under and in furniture and even up and down the street because who knows, maybe her keys grew legs. Suffice it to say, we were desperate.
My Mom had only been in their house for a matter of mere minutes yet in that short time the keys had managed to disappear.
Finally, we decided another route would have to be taken. To make a long story short it dawned on me that the spare set of keys might be at my house in Ohio, two hours away. So Mom and I took a quick run to Chagrin Falls and lo and behold, we found the spare set. The car was able to be moved out of the driveway and the spare set of keys were surgically attached to my Mom. Okay, so they weren't really attached but we all made such a big deal out of never letting them out of her sight that they might as well have been sewn to her hand!
The mystery of where that original set of keys went continued on for quite some time - months and months actually. Kim, my sister-in-law, kept searching days and weeks after they went missing. She was as perplexed by their disappearance as anyone. She tore apart whole rooms worth of toys and clothing in an attempt to track them down with no success. Finally we all accepted the fact that this would remain an unsolved mystery. The keys were lost, we assumed, for good. I, for one, resolved to believe they somehow ended up in the trash. It was the only explanation that made any sense at all.
It wasn't until months later that we all got the answer to the puzzling question of where those keys went. One day when most of the kids were at school, little Eliot, not even two years old, came walking up to Kim holding a set of big bulky keys - yes, that set of keys. On that set contained the Mazda CX-7 key that we had all spent hours searching for. It was a massive set of keys. How did we all miss it? Where had it been?
We will never know how we all searched high and low and somehow missed seeing the keys that were indeed in my brother's house. But when none of us were looking they were somehow found. Eliot didn't know what he was looking for when he reached into that box of toys and pulled out Grandma's keys. He had long forgotten or never even really knew that they were missing. Still, when the search had been called off and the whole situation was fading into a distant memory, the keys reappeared.
I believe that there is a lesson to be learned from the case of the missing keys.
In our loneliness as singles there are times that we want to go on the hunt for a companion to fill our aching void. We search high and low for that special someone. Sometimes, we go actively seeking them by creating match.com accounts or attending singles events. At other times, our search is less transparent and more like a continual prowl. We go to parties, weddings and other social events with one eye on the left hand ring finger, constantly scanning the room for potential mates.
Is this really the best way to find a boyfriend or girlfriend? Or are we destined to a fate like the lost keys? Spending hours of time and energy searching for something that is hidden and not yet ready to be revealed?
Right now you may be in the time of singleness and plagued with loneliness. You may be tempted to go on the hunt for someone to take away that aching hole in your heart. You may be tempted to try to find a date or a husband or a wife to fulfill you. You may want to employ your own personal search party to find Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Fellow singles, I encourage you to rid yourself of this temptation and call off the search team. Tuck away your flashlights and don't go pulling all the cushions off your couch just yet. Instead of being on a perpetual hunt, sit back and allow God to do the delivering. Rest in your time of singleness knowing that God has the perfectly ordained time for you to finally be united with your special someone. Now might not be the right time for reasons that you don't understand. You may think you are ready for "the one", or at least someone! But God knows the best and perfect timing.
Just like Eliot showed up with Mom's keys when no one was expecting them to be found, God can bring you that special someone even when you aren't looking. In fact, it is most often when we aren't searching that God does the delivering. We can hunt till we are weary and exhausted, plagued by failed relationships and Saturday nights spent dateless. And then, out of the blue, when we least expect it and when we have stopped looking entirely, God can bring that person into clear view, surprising us and astounding us with the gift of companionship.
Finding your Mr. or Mrs. Right wasn't meant to be a scavenger hunt. God has the right person and the right time for that person to be revealed to you. Right now He may have that future mate hidden from view, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a time of singleness. Companionship is a gift from God but so is singleness. So don't miss out on all of its benefits by spending your days longing after a change in relationship status. That time will come. Your special delivery just hasn't arrived yet.