A little boy was waiting for his mother to come out of the grocery store.
As he waited, he was approached by a man who asked, “Son, can you tell me where the post office is?”
The little boy replied, “Sure, just go straight down the street a couple of blocks and turn to your right.”
The man thanked the boy kindly and said, “I’m the new pastor in town, and I’d like for you to come to church on Sunday. I’ll show you how to get to Heaven.”
The little boy replied with a chuckle, “Awww, come on; you don’t even know the way to the post office!”
How many times have we been looking for something and it’s right there in front of us? The other day at work, I started rummaging through the piles of paperwork building up on my desk as I looked for keys (clutter is a sign of genius). I was hungry, dadgummit, and I wanted to get to my Jeep and head out for some lunch. The going was rough, and I was having some difficulty sifting through the rubble. After panic (and hunger pains) had set in, I stopped for a moment to retrace my recent steps in my mind. When I reached up to rub my chin (as thinkers do), I realized that my keys were there in my hand. In my hand. In all the hubbub, I had no idea that I was holding the very same keys for which I was searching. Talk about a humbling moment.
The Torah Portion Parashat Vayetze begins with the dream sequence of Jacob’s Ladder. He wakes from his dream about the “stairway to heaven,” having been promised with numerous descendants and divine protection. “Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is present in this place, and I did not know it!’” (Genesis 28:16)
If you are like me, it is easy to run in circles getting caught up in worldly things and remaining oblivious. How embarrassed would we be, though, if we found out that we ran past God without even seeing Him? Oops! Yes, God is right there in front of us at all times. He is there when we rejoice in the highs that life has for us. He is there when we suffer through the lows. In Psalm 139:5 we hear, “Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.” It sure sounds to me like God is awfully close.
We should always be quick to remember that no matter how frazzled we are, no matter what trials beset us, that God is nearby. Have faith in Him, call upon Him in times of need, believe in Him. He is a constant companion at our side ready to hold us in His hands in difficult moments. Always, always, always remember He is near. That is the “key.”
Gerard Geis is from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.