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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)

TITLE: As Long As There's A Lock...


I’ve always wondered about people who are OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). You know, they have six locks on the door and must always start locking or unlocking in a specific order before they can open the door or walk away once they are inside?

They must be unable to reason with themselves about safety and opening locked doors.
You see, as long as there are locks, there are people who will sacrifice life and limb to meet “the challenge of the lock.” They are desperate to enter “where no man has gone before,” into the room or building that is locked. There is no understanding that when a person places a lock on the door, there is one of two objectives in that person’s mind:
1. I want to keep everyone out unless I allow them in.
2. I want to keep whoever or whatever is inside on the inside.

I had a friend who worked at Moccasin Bend Hospital in Chattanooga, TN during the 1960’s. He had a patient (or do they call them clients?) who was over the edge mentally. Today, we would call him mentally handicapped. He was forever trying to leave the building through the steel doors at the end of each hallway.

One day, my friend caught him trying to pick the lock on one of those steel doors. When he called the man’s name, he turned and faced him,. but remained within reaching distance of the door. The worker had not noticed he was keeping his hands behind his back and working his magic on the door’s lock (for which he did not have a key) until he turned the knob and opened the door. He had picked the lock blindly while talking his way of a situation with his “keeper.” He saw the worker as an enemy and not his friend. He just needed to outfox him and show his superiority

About seven years ago, my daughter and son-in-law came to visit from out of town. They went to see one of the local sights and were longer returning than we expected. My wife and I had to attend a meeting and left home, thinking we probably would return before they would. We were wrong.

My son-in-law (now ex-son-in-law) tried to enter the house through locked windows and doors with no luck. Finally, when his daughter was near wetting her pants, he broke a window on the garage door and reached inside and unlocked the door.

Sometimes, I find myself trying to lock things our of my personal life that I don’t want to come inside. I also try to lock the good things, like my spiritual zeal, safely on the inside. But, like the Apostle Paul, I find that I do those things I don’t desire to do and don’t do the things I desire to do. What’s wrong?

It’s simple! I use the locks of self-determination and good intentions instead of the wonderful power of God.

Jesus promised to be my “strong man” to protect me and guard against the efforts of the world, the flesh, and the devil to steal my victory. He is my “lock,” keeping bad out and good in.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dave Wagner03/13/06
Lots of ideas here. Kinda leaves the reader hanging at the end. Would have been nice if you could have tied it back into the OCD concept at the end somehow - to bring it full circle and make more of a complete piece. As it is, it reads like a slice of a much larger piece.

You made some good word choices, and you write with a good level of confidence. Keep at it, please. Thanks for posting.
Jessica Schmit03/16/06
Interesting take on the topic. I appreciated your views.
Helen Paynter03/16/06
Sorry, I'm going to be a bit critical on factual grounds. If you are going to use a medical analogy, you need to get it right. Mental handicap is not being 'over the edge mentally'. It does not equate to mental illness. I also thought the way you referred to OCD at the beginning seemed a bit callous. Sorry to be critical of what was otherwise a very interesting piece.