Finding God and My Keys
Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. Jeremiah 51:17
As I was leaving the house yesterday, I couldn’t find my keys. I had an inkling that they were in the garage. My son and I had been working on a shop project out there and I suspected that I’d just set them down. The problem was, the garage was a disaster. If my keys were out there, they were probably buried under a mountain of sawdust and tools.
I know it sounds silly, but I wanted my keys to be in the house, so I looked for them in the house. It was just going to be too much work to find them in the garage. I wasted several minutes looking in the house before I relented. As I suspected, they were in the garage, and though it took some searching to find them, I would have saved a lot of time if I had just started in the garage in the first place. Looking for my keys to be in the house did not make them be in the house. It just made me stupid.
This is the story of our lives. Though we know where we can find true joy, we often seek it in the wrong place. We know we will be happier in the long run if we eat healthy, but it’s easier to find pleasure right now by indulging. We know life would be better sober, but right now, we just want a drink. We know we could find true life in God but seeking him requires sacrifice and we’d just prefer to live for ourselves. Looking for true joy on our own path doesn’t make it real. It just makes us miserable.
This is the message of today’s passage. In it, God calls out the absurdity of seeking life in that which is lifeless. We’ll never find what we are looking for in the bottle, food, or money. If we want to know true joy, meaning and purpose, then we must stop pursuing our path of futility. Like finding my keys, we must abandon our folly and look for what we need in the one place we know it can be found.