There is no mistaking the purpose of chains and padlocks no matter where you come across them, the clear intent is to keep you away from what lies beyond their steely glare. Sometimes the sheer size of the links and locks give an indication of the value of whatever it is that they are protecting as in the case of the neighbor’s Harley Davidson, bound beyond any mere bolt cutter by irons whose heft matches the brawny lad who owns said hog. The size of the locks also sends a clear message as to the level of recompense one will receive should a breach be attempted, just check with the afore mentioned neighbor. No pun intended, but this is a weighty matter indeed.
The photo above was taken in a old building that housed a local pub that is currently standing gutted and prepped for extensive renovations which I will be directly involved in. During a break I grabbed my camera and tried a few angles till I found one that worked, but it was during the dodging and burning process that the parable came to my attention. It was the word on the padlock that struck me, “Master”. This is a very useful piece of information if you are searching through a pile of keys for the one that fits this particular padlock because the key will have that same name embossed on its head. The fact that this key will have Master written upon it set me to thinking of people who find themselves in bondage of different sorts and their efforts to be released from the fetters wound about them. Just like someone fumbling through a ring with many keys to find the one that fits, people will fumble through many different ways and mechanisms to find the key to their own personal freedom. The keyring is truly ponderous because there are so many different keys that may be tried. The keys range from socially acceptable means and methods to the truly degenerate, they are all on the ring. Herein lies the problem. The key is not on the keyring. The key is in the hand of the One to whom it belongs; the One who took ownership of it. The One who paid for it. Thus the name on the key matches the name on the lock for the simple reason that they are both His.
The Master laid the chains on us as a teacher. We were bound through our choices, we were bound as we attempted to walk away from Life, we were actually bound for our own safety. We were bound so that we would turn, finally, to the One with the key. We were bound so that by this simple, and free, transaction we could become bound to the One who gives life. To be bound to the Master.
Some may read this and be galled by the metaphor, indeed there is within me a reluctance to see this. I understand it. The truth is, though, where else will I go for life, and what is it in me that is so averse to this way?