The Most Important "Key" Element!

"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."      John 14:6
For years, we told my oldest son, Josh, that we would celebrate the conclusion of his five years of residency with a family trip during the summer of 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic altered many of our plans, we were still able to all gather in one destination, but it required numerous car rentals to get each member of the family from the state that they currently reside to our vacation location.
Typically, everyone stayed at the house that we rented, and I just used whatever car was parked at the end of the driveway to go and purchase groceries. Everyone left his or her car rental keys on the counter, and I would just grab the set for whatever vehicle gave me the quickest access out. As we sought the cheapest car rental prices, there was a variety of Jeep, Ford, and GM keys to pick from.
Now, in my defense, it is important to note that I typically make sure that I leave my personal car keys home when I travel so that I never lose them or misplace them on vacation. Another important fact regarding to this story is that two weeks before this vacation, the lease on my car had expired. Since my dad worked for Ford, all of my life I have always driven Ford products, and for the first time in my life, my husband replaced my Ford car with a Jeep, so possessing a Jeep key was something totally new to me!
The last night of vacation, Josh and I picked up carry out food for dinner, using the same method of taking the last car that was parked in the driveway, which happened to be a little Jeep Compass that my middle son, Justin, had rented. I threw the keys in my purse and off we went. When we returned, I took a set of Jeep keys out of my purse and placed them on the counter knowing that Justin would need to use those keys when he left at 4 a.m. the next day to catch his flight back to Tennessee.
At approximately 4:15 a.m., Justin woke me up in panic, informing me that his car wouldn't start. Not wanting him to miss his flight, Ken drove him to the airport as I called the emergency number located in his rental agreement paperwork. The car rental sent a tow truck and the attendant was mystified as he told my husband, "In all my years, I've never seen anything like this that the key fob would not recognize the car!" 
Later that day, as a group of us were on an airplane headed back to Detroit, my granddaughter asked me for something that was in my purse. As I searched to get it for her, all of a sudden I found a Jeep key attached to a car rental key chain! Instantly, I felt sick because I realized what I had done. Instead of returning Justin's Jeep keys to the kitchen counter after I used his car I had accidently put my own new Jeep key on the counter! Justin had the wrong Jeep key, and that's why his car would not start!
Even wearing a mask, Ken could tell by the look in my eyes that something was extremely wrong. Being blessed with a very patient and forgiving husband, Ken reassured me that a few phone calls would fix everything, and it did.  But he did say, "When are you going to tell the kids because they are never going to let you hear the end of this?"  Immediately I replied, "You can tell them at my 100th birthday party!" So you only have to keep this story quiet for 42 more years! 
Having the right key is absolutely necessary to gain access! From a Spiritual perspective, faith in Jesus is the only key to gain access into Heaven. At St. Matthew Lutheran School, one of our top priorities is to nurture your child's faith so that he/she has a personal relationship with Christ. More importantly, we want to equip your child to become a passionate disciple who will also live and share his/her faith with others. One very exciting way that we are going to provide your child with an opportunity to do this is through this year's Turkey Trot, which will be held on Friday, November 13th. This year's recipient of our efforts will be "Soles4Souls", a global non-profit organization that helps provide shoes to those in need. More details will come, but we just want to let you know that there will be a shoe drive for slightly worn shoes associated with this event, so please start cleaning out your closets! 
Have a wonderful week knowing that Jesus is the "key" to everything that we do!
In His Love,
Mrs. Palka

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