A new arrival found herself at the information desk before a large set of gates that looked like they opened into a gated luxury resort. Carol couldn’t remember how she got there or where she had parked her car, but noticed that the sun was setting and she wanted to settle into a nice hotel before it got dark.

Hi! I just got here and need a place to stay.” She leaned in to read the name tag of the bearded customer service rep: “Pete.”
“Say, Pete, do you take American Express? Or do you prefer Visa or a Mastercard?”

“Nope. None of those.”

“What does it take to unlock these gates? A remote? A card? combination? Collateral? Keys?”

Pete guffawed. “Keys?” he chortled. “Carol, you were offered the keys some time ago. What did you do with them?”

What keys had been in her care? Carol was trying to remember. Hmmm. Where they one of those keys where you pushed the button, it beeped, and then unlocked and lighted all the vehicles in the grocery store parking lot? Could it be the small silver house key that disappeared for three months so that her kids had to climb in the window every time they came home? She’d gotten better keeping track since then.

Carol thought about the spare keys she kept after she got a frantic call from a neighbor who had accidentally locked herself inside her own shed. Carol also recalled her friend who entrusted her with another spare when the woman had dead-bolted herself outside her house. All key-bearing friends had been out of town. “The hiding place was too obvious,” the friend had explained. “Someone would only have to flail around inside the bag of concrete on the patio to find it!”

Carol had enough spare keys–hers and everyone else’s–to create a necklace. Her purse was outfitted for emergencies requiring anything from rescue rope to dehydrated dinners. But as she dug in her bag, it seemed unnaturally light. She couldn’t find any keys in her purse!

“What keys am I looking for?” she asked Pete.

“The really important ones. The keys to Heaven. They are in your Bible.”

Just where exactly are the keys to Heaven?

Key One: “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” [John 14:6 ~NIV]

Key Two: Jesus said, “’Hear, O Israel the Lord, our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12:29-31 ~ NIV]

How precious are the keys to Heaven in your life right now? How would you rate your stewardship of your keys?

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on Button-to-God.com.]

About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

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