I’ve waited 2 1/2 months to share it with you
You can imagine how surprised the mobile locksmith was when I handed him my keys.
“You’re locked out of your car — but you have your keys?” Marco asked.
My issue had stumped the mechanic at my Ford dealership, too. (He’d suggested my lock could be frozen.)
It was 28 degrees, after all, the fourth frigid morning in a row. By Day 2 of this cold, my car — a true Floridian — had given up the ghost.
That was Christmas. Followed by Christmas day observed, Day 3. On this, Day 4, I had an 8 a.m. appointment to get my battery checked or replaced at my Ford dealership (because my battery was under their warranty).
But I couldn’t open my door — or the hood of my car — because the car was dead, and my key fob and the buttons on the door couldn’t raise the dead.
My 2014 Edge has an edge, though. It’s old enough to have an old-fashioned metal key — but though I could insert it, I couldn’t make it turn. Realizing I couldn’t make my 8 a.m. appointment, I called the dealership.
“Maybe it’s frozen,” the perplexed mechanic said over the phone.
So, I did what any sensible, desperate woman would do with that information.
I alternately placed my gloved hands and my warm backside on the lock to defrost it. When that didn’t work, I went inside for the blow dryer, thinking I’d heat it that way.
At that point, my husband tried the key himself. No luck.
“Why would you lock the car?” he said, as if we hadn’t lost loose change and partially used gas cards when we’d left the car unlocked one night five years ago. “Well, why didn’t you leave the hood open?”
But then he joined Team Sara, searching online for workarounds to charge a car without opening the hood.
(The internet has a number of suggestions. We tried them, but none worked for us.)
The calvary comes to my rescue
As a last resort, I called a locksmith. Meanwhile, my husband searched Amazon for tools to break and enter our own cars in the future — well, tools to get past a locked door without breaking anything.
When the mobile Houdini Marco arrived, he tried my key in the lock as well. He then tried his set of master keys. No luck.
He went to his car for the big guns, I thought. My husband and I were both curious to see which tool we could have purchased on Amazon to open the door for a fraction of the cost of a locksmith.
But he came out with a small can of WD-40.
He inserted the red tube into the lock and squirted the lubricant into it.
He took the key and tried it again.
Then, he reinserted the tube and squirted again.
This time, he jockeyed the key in the lock right and left and was rewarded with some movement. He continued until he’d unlocked the door.
“That’s the problem with a key fob,” Marco said. “When you never use the physical key in the lock, the mechanisms can freeze.”
(Oh, maybe the Ford mechanic meant that kind of freezing.)
“My boss always says, ‘Change your clocks, lube your locks,’” he told us then.
“Should we use graphite powder for that?” my husband asked.
“Not in Florida. It’s best to use a silicone lubricant to keep dust and moisture from building up in the locks and mechanisms, which can cause them to malfunction over time.”
“Thanks for the advice,” I replied, as I handed him my credit card. “And thanks for making an otherwise unpleasant situation pleasant.”
The spiritual parallel to this
Just as my key-in-hand call to a mobile locksmith flummoxed Marco, my inability to perform what God calls me to do must bewilder Him. Love and obey Him. Flee temptation. Use my gifts. Love others.
After all, God’s given us the key to do so.
Granted, it’s not as easy to do those things as pushing a button to unlock a car usually is. But, as the Apostle Peter told his followers,
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.(2 Peter 1:3-4, ESV)
Why then do I fail to live as if I had access to everything I need? Proceeding with joy and trust in God during difficulties, for me, can feel as impossible to reach as the lever to open the hood of my locked car.
Peter encourages us to supplement our faith with virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (2 Peter 1:5-7). Always and more and more.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.(2 Peter 1:8, ESV)
In fact, Peter indicates, “if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (v. 10). Practicing those qualities — as partakers of God’s divine nature — day by day ensures we access all those things God has given us.
Practice isn’t performance or perfection. It’s going through the motions and getting movement. Progress.
Rather like routinely lubricating and using your metal key to open your car door — so when the day comes when your key fob fails, you can unlock your door anyway.
It’s time to act
As I near tomorrow’s “change your clocks,” I’m ready to follow Marco’s “lube your locks” advice.
But I won’t use WD-40, as a quick search online suggests it isn’t the best tool for the job. Instead, I’ll use what Marco suggested, a silicone lubricant, which forms a water-repelling barrier — and resists extreme temperatures. (Hello, Florida.)
Some locksmiths also advise cleaning your locks — using Q-tips, old toothbrushes, or wire brushes — to remove the old lubricant first. (I’m not sure I’m that bold.)
However, squirting lubricant onto my key to lock and unlock my door on the day I change my clocks? I can do that.
And if you think you don’t have such a key? Check inside your key fob.
I paid $60 for that advice, but I’m offering it to you for free.
“Change your clocks; lube your locks.”
(If our government ever does away with Daylight Saving Time, I’ll need to find a different rhyme to remind me.)
But practice all those qualities Peter mentioned more than twice a year.
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