This week my son Kason and I set out for what we thought would be a manageable hike. We planned for just a few miles up one of the new trails at Seven Bends Stake Park in Woodstock, Virginia.
We had a taxing but fun hike up, then obviously a much more enjoyable decent.
Well, it was enjoyable. Right until I realized I’d lost my keys somewhere along the way. We walked down to the parking lot hoping they’d fallen near the car when we geared-up. Sadly, the car was locked and the keys were gone.
The truth was staring at us on the Shenandoah Valley mini-mountain in the distance. Obviously, the keys had slipped out of a pocket on my water pack.
We sat for a while at the bottom, regrouped, caught our breath, ate a snack, and I asked Kason if he’d say a prayer for us that we’d find them.
“Already did,” he said, “back up on the trail.”
I smiled and quietly offered one as well, pleading for some heavenly help. I know you’re busy, I thought. Do you have time for something like lost keys?
I pondered the expense and inconvenience ahead. Replacement keys for the car, house, office, post office box, and a religious trinket and homemade keychain with sentimental value that couldn’t be replaced.
After a short rest, we headed all the way back up, our legs and lungs arguing the whole way.
We had help from a couple of friendly park rangers, and though they didn’t find them, we were thankful for their efforts and they encouraged us to not give up.
When we were almost back to the top, we spotted the keys a few feet off the trail near where we’d turned around the first time. Another prayer was silently said, this time in gratitude, and back down we went.
Laughing, groaning, grimacing, but grateful.
We chatted at the bottom about our prayers and the lessons we’d learned. We decided the Lord always provides a way, but usually only after we’ve done all we can.
We also learned that we’re barely fit enough to make the hike once. But twice? That’s the real modern-day miracle!
Back at the car, we called it a day. We were sore, exhausted, and we were becoming acquainted with grumpy muscles in our bodies we didn’t even know existed 12 hours before.
But at least we’re doing it all with my key ring sitting safely on the counter.
So, what’s your take? Luck or heavenly influence?
Is God too busy for this kind of prayer?