Neither owner of a particular house in Anderson Ranch had a key and time was short.
It was a Saturday morning and I needed a locksmith, so I got on the phone and after several calls, located one who could meet me there. I was expecting a big van to pull into the driveway. Instead, a small gray sedan rolled up and the driver gave me a friendly wave. Then, he picked up his large case of tools and we walked to the front door together.
He opened his bag and rooted around. He contemplated his different options and decided to check the status of the two locks on the door by slipping an inflatable tool between the jamb and the door. I smiled a little as he proceeded, because the tool looked similar to a blood pressure sleeve.
I watched as he turned a small valve and then used the air bulb to press air into the carefully positioned sleeve. Swoosh. Swoosh. Hiss. The sleeve filled with air and the space between the lock and the jamb expanded. In a just a few moments, he knew that the deadbolt was not engaged and that he needed only to deal with releasing the lock on the doorknob. Knowing exactly how to gather information about what needed to be done and where to focus his efforts made his success come swiftly and easily.
I learned a lot from his success and thought about other areas of life that could use the particular skills of a locksmith. We all face unexpected challenges. Sometimes, just as we begin to believe we’ve entered smooth, calm waters and nothing but blue sky and gentle breezes will last forever, the most unexpected, unimaginable storm enters our lives. I can’t explain why this occurs, but I have encountered it again and again. My friend Kyle Christensen calls it, “swimming against the current.”
When he finds himself in this situation, he asks one important question: “What is it that I need to learn from this?” Then he follows the “Path of the Locksmith.” He gathers his tools and reviews them. He analyzes the circumstances in front of him and, he takes focused action to unlock the challenging mystery.
Finally, he enjoys living in the smooth, calm waters of his life with nothing but blue sky and gentle breezes. Such times of peace are the reward for learning needed, important lessons. They allow us to gather strength for whatever unknown lessons will next descend.
I wasn’t expecting to learn such a valuable lesson from the driver of a small gray sedan, a locksmith, on one informative, early Saturday afternoon. And, he taught me that the path followed by a locksmith is a key to opening more than just doors. It is a key we can all use to learn the answers to the lessons life asks every one of us to learn.
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.