Cheap Joy

Last week as I was leaving our church’s mid-week prayer service I realized I couldn’t find my car keys.  I looked in my study, in the parking lot, in the auditorium, in the halls . . . and then panic set in.

I was panicing because I had driven our van to church that night; the van we only have one key to.  That means that even if I called my wife to come and help, she could only bring me home, not bring an extra key.  That meant calling a locksmith, which meant money.   I was really starting to get mad at myself!

Then I began to pray hard, “Oh Lord, please help me find those keys!  Please let me not have locked them in the van!”  I went back outside to try to see if the keys were in the van and confirm my fears, but it was too dark to see.  So I kept praying as I walked around the church, looking everywhere.  Finally, I went back out in the parking lot again.  There, half-buried in the snow were the keys!

I was ecstatic!  I was thanking God and so happy that I wasn’t going to have to shell out wasted money or call my wife and admit to a stupid mistake.

But then my joy quickly turned to deep regret.  I felt ashamed that I had so much happiness over not losing my keys and not losing face when I seem to rarely feel that happy about spiritual things.   After all, I hadn’t felt that strongly about coming to the prayer meeting that night, let alone the years of safety and provision the Lord had given to me and my family, recent victories over sinful habits, growth in our church, or salvation itself secured through the death of Christ!

It was a reminder how easily I get caught up in making insignificant things of this world more important than weightier matters that have eternal significance.   God forgive me!

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