Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Golden Key

Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

Angela stirred under her down comforter, reluctant to get out of bed. She yawned and stretched her entire body like a cat waking from a nap. Consciousness gradually dawned on her sleepy brain; she rubbed both fists in her still-closed eyes, and then slowly opened them, one at a time. The awareness of something hard in her right hand startled her, removing the last fog of sleepiness from her mind. Gingerly, she opened her hand and peered at her palm. “What’s this?” She muttered to herself. Radiant in the early morning light, a golden key lay in the middle of her palm. Never had she seen a key like this. It resembled an old fashioned skeleton key, covered with an intricate design. Strangely drawn to its beauty, she held the key up to bedroom window, examining it closely in the early morning sunlight. Its design looked vaguely familiar, yet unlike anything she had ever known. Each curving line softly caressed its neighbor. How did I get this key? What does it open? She whispered as she turned the key over in her hand.

Angela gasped as a golden door suddenly materialized in her bedroom. Trembling, she approached the glittering door and placed the key in the keyhole. With a loud click, it opened and Angela ventured into another room where everything dripped with opulence. A six foot long chandelier lighted the room, its thousand crystal teardrops reflecting the artificial light. She noticed her reflection in the dark, rich, mahogany furniture. How surprised she was to see she was no longer wearing her pajamas. Instead she wore a full-length white satin gown and a mink stole. Earrings studded with diamonds sparkled in her ears. They coordinated with the diamonds in her necklace, bracelet and rings. She heard herself speaking on the telephone: I don’t care who you step on, just make the deal. A shiver as cold as diamonds ran through Angela’s body.

Suddenly the elegant room disappeared, and another door glowing with a veneer of vibrant colors materialized. Come in, a voice hissed. Quickly she unlocked the door and walked in. Bright lights flashed from the ceiling, casting eerie shadows. Liquor flowed freely from a fountain in the center of the room. Young dancing couples swayed in every corner of the spacious room. Looking into the full-length mirror in the entry-way, she saw herself with an attractive young man. Her tight leather mini-skirt showed off her long legs. Her see-through blouse shimmered in the light. She walked unsteadily in her three-inch heels, spilling her drink on the young man. As she giggled, he smiled, took her by the elbow, and lead her into a nearby bedroom.

Instantly the music and the partygoers vanished, and a third door, made of rough-cut wood, appeared. Quickly Angela unlocked and opened the door. This room was plainly furnished with hard wooden furniture. The only sound she detected was muffled crying in the corner. In the glow of the candle-lit room, she saw herself, wearing a plain brown dress. Swiftly she walked to the woman who sobbed in the corner, sat down beside her, and put her arms around her. “There, there,” she crooned, “how can I help you?” Her hands patted the other woman’s back and smoothed the hair from her tear-stained face.

“Thank you for your help,” the woman stammered. As Angela felt a warm glow run throughout her body, the room faded away. Once again Angela found herself in her own room, still basking in the warm glow. She heard a gentle voice speak softly to her heart. “The golden key you hold in your hand is the key to your future. Use it wisely.”

God, help us to make wise choices in our lives.

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