It was cold outside, and we couldn't get into the garage or a vehicle. Thankfully, I had my phone with. I called our friends who have a spare key of ours. But they couldn't find it. They brought over several keys, but none worked. We drove back to their house to double-check if there were any other keys around. There was one. We went back to our house. It didn't work. So I sent the boys with them to church so they could get supper and be warm while I tried to hunt down a locksmith who would be available on a cold, snowy Sunday night.
I called my wife (who is in San Francisco with keys to the house) to see if she had given a spare key to anyone else. She hadn't. I pulled the map up on my phone and typed in locksmith. I called the one nearby. They weren't open, of course, but their message said to press 2 for an emergency. I did. I left a message there. I didn't hear back. I called the second closest place. Their message said to press 1 for an emergency. I did. I got a call center (at least that's what it sounded like). They took my information and said someone was near and would call me back in 10-15 minutes. This was at 4:36.
I wasn't clear if that meant the person would be at our place in that amount of time or just call to confirm the information. Meanwhile I texted some nearby friends. They said I could walk down to their house to stay warm if needed. I figured I'd stay close by since it didn't sound like it would be too long a wait. After the 15 minute mark I saw the lights on at our neighbor's across the street; I went over to wait there.
At 5:01 I received a call from the locksmith. He verified the address and that I was locked out of my house and said he'd be there in 25-30 minutes. I hadn't had a chance to catch up with our neighbors other than on facebook in a while, so it was nice to chat. After 30 minutes, I headed back to my house so I could direct the locksmith to the back door which wasn't deadbolted. And I waited. Longer than was wise of me to.
At 6:04 I called the locksmith. He said he was 15 minutes away.
At 6:28 he called to doulbe-check my address and said he was 3 minutes away. This time he was at least accurate. Five minutes and later I was in the house wondering if it would have been cheaper to just break a window and let myself in (I'll have to look into that for next time).
By this time I was cold and hungry. And sad that I missed getting to church because of a dumb mistake. I love church during Advent season. And we have family celebrations coming up that may mean that we miss the next two Sundays as well.
Advent is about waiting. Tonight I did a lot of waiting. I discovered that I don't wait well. I get anxious. I get worried. I'm typcially a patiend person with most people. I'm not when I'm locked out of my home and it's cold outside. I did get kudos from my son for not swearing when I discovered we were locked out. That's one thing I can do alright.
I think I act the same way sometimes in my waiting for Christ. His Kingdom isn't here yet. I get anxious. I don't feel His presence the way I'd like to. I worry. I want Him to answer my prayer. I get anxious. Our finances are tight. I worry.
As much as Advent is about waiting, it is also about the assurance that God keeps His promises. He always comes through.
The prayer station I finished today talks about how Jesus is the King of the nations and their desire, the cornerstone who will come save humanity. His Kingship means He is Lord, in control. I don't have to worry. I don't have to be anxious. When I do, I am taking His Kingship away and trying to claim it for myself.
And so I learn to wait. Patiently. Seeking Him instead of my own fears. He is in control.
At 8:12, while I was putting the boys to bed, a man from the first locksmith place called and left a message. He could be at my place in an hour. For that, I'm glad I'm not still waiting.