I felt pretty darned special.
Until one day when someone else with a key showed up and attempted to open the door while I was actually in there, sending me scrambling to keep the door closed. It quickly became clear that anyone with a second floor ladies room key could get in at any time regardless of who was occupying the premises. All they had to do was put their key in the lock and swing the door wide open......
and let the irreparable damage begin.
Hold on a minute. Surely this couldn't be the way it worked. Was there no etiquette of the keys? No protection from being walked in on any time of the day or night? Didn't anyone make a fist and knock anymore?
It was in my wild lunging towards a closed door about to open that I saw it. Right there in front of me. Another piece of the locking mechanism I had missed, visible only from the inside. Usable only from the inside. Meant only for the person on the inside.
Behold the beauty of The Top Lock.
This is the latch you swing to the left after you are in the bathroom. The one that has no key access from the other side. The one that keeps the door shut securely so there can't be any surprises. The one that guarantees that no one, no how is getting in to see the wizard until the wizard is ready to be seen.
I exhaled. It was true. As I had hoped, the ladies room was Fort Knox after all. My faith in our property management group returned that day.
Oddly enough, maneuvering that lever made me think of my life. Where did I need to throw a top latch? Were there areas in my heart and mind that needed protection from unwanted intruders? Might there be parts of myself that were only loosely guarded, leaving room for temptation with an all-access key to surprise me with bad choices, influences, and juicy offers while swinging the door wide open and walking right in?
Unpleasant visitors enter my life so easily. Their names are familiar - Judgment, Jealousy, Fear, Enviousness, Comparison, Self-defeat, Criticism...the list can get long in a heartbeat. There's a latch I need to engage when they visit, a latch which looks like taking every thought captive to Christ and holding every errant emotion I am feeling up to God and His word. God's truth is the barricade that keeps the unwanted guest out, but just like in the second floor ladies room, it's up to me to put it into place. God's given me all I need in His word to send those intruders packing, but I must have spent time getting ready in order to be prepared with His truth when they arrive.
I need to remember, it's not enough to just go in and shut the door.
Protection comes when I bolt it from the inside out.