Ace is the Place?
As I write this, I’m hangin’ out at Ace Hardware w/ the boy to get some keys made. He’s been cooped up inside for a week due to the extreme weather so we gave him an early birthday present just to discover it needed D batteries – of which we had none! But it was a good excuse to get out, seeing as it was a warm day today at 18 degrees. (Warm compared to this past week.) I’m standing in line, so why not blog?
Anyway, turned out everybody and their mother-in-law went to Ace today for keys. (Perhaps I’m not the only one with the “buy 1 get 1 free” coupon!) But waiting in line and watching the Ace Man make the keys reminds me of when I worked at True Value in high school and got trained on key machine. It’s a pretty simple machine. There are clamps that hold two keys against two wheels. The only difference is that one wheel only rides the original key and the second wheel is a grind stone that cuts the blank. Both wheels are attached so as the operator runs the first wheel up and down and over the original while pushing down, the second wheel cuts into the blank key making a perfect duplicate.
Kinda reminds me of how God is working to make me in the image of Jesus.
I am in the process of being made into a duplicate of Jesus, at least in His character. However, in order to be changed, I must submit to a process of being made in His image. There is some pain involved, but what is cut away is only that which does not exist in Jesus. And in order to be cut, there must be pressure into the nature of Christ – the Holy Spirit is the one running the machine, but I have to be willing to be clamped in and not to resist His guiding process. If I resist the downward pressure of the blade, I will miss out on being made more like Jesus. We’ve probably all had to return hardware store made keys for not working – a perfect match is careful work. In the same way, if I mess with God’s process by disobeying or not submitting, I will be a poor match to my Savior. My life won’t work right, just as a key half-made wouldn’t fulfill it’s purpose either.
As I stand here watching, I realize, it would be nice to start out as a blank, the reality is that there are a lot of influences in this world that have already cut notches and grooves into the character of my life, many of which don’t belong. I need to be willing to head to the “helpful place” and let God continue doing some cutting into my life. Often times He is correcting what has already been cut incorrectly. It may be uncomfortable at times, but in the end I’ll be a more useful tool for God and I’ll have the key to eternal life!
When it was finally my turn to get my keys duplicated, I saw a sign that said, “Ace is the Helpful Place” and I couldn’t help smiling as I thought, “Actually, Grace is the Helpful Place.”