1 Jul 1999

The Key Machine

Submitted by theshovel
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Have any of you ever used a key cutting machine? If not, I'm sure you've seen one. I work at Home Depot, and one of my many jobs is cutting keys. The machine is a simple device. It has two lock-down vices for the keys (original on left, blank on right) that are on a sliding hinge so that you can move the whole mechanism up-and-down and side-to-side. There is a hinged-gauge so that you can line the keys up. Now, the cutting mechanism doesn't move around, but you move the hinged key-holder with the keys across it. A fixed guide-point is on the left; this is the part that you follow the original key through (It doesn't cut or damage the original in any way). On the right side there is a hard steel grinding wheel (shaped exactly like the guide-point) that does the actual cutting of the blank (It only spins, it doesn't shift around). Got it?

I have taught many employees how to use this key machine, and I find it interesting to notice how every single one will automatically do it backwards. Not only that, but I have to repeatedly instruct them on the proper focus needed to cut a key. Here is how you do it. You take the original and lock it down in the left vice and take the corresponding blank and lock it into the right. You then make any minor adjustments using the gauge to line it up exactly. Now, if you don't snug either key sufficiently (without over-tightening) you will ruin the key you are trying to make if it shifts at all. Then you begin the cutting procedure by running the original key across the guide-point.

Here is part that catches them every time: YOU CAN ONLY WATCH THE ORIGINAL KEY IN THE PROCESS! With one guy I finally had to put a piece of paper over the key being cut so that he would focus on the original. It was a real struggle for him because he thought he NEEDED to watch the cutting process and make adjustments based on what he saw happening.

Do you get the picture? A key is made by following the grooves of the original. A blank has nothing to follow. The original is the guarantee that the proper results happen; focusing on the copy, or worrying about the outcome only gives the ILLUSION that you are MORE CONCERNED with the results.

If you saw the intensity in some of the employees faces you would realize that you had seen that same expression on those who were having “Spiritual encounters”. When you put your attention on becoming the best you can be, you get an inoperative blank that doesn't do anybody any good … unless, of course, if you think you may impress someone by the large amount of keys on your key ring (that always looks important!)

Stop looking at yourself. Stop trying to figure out what God is doing in your life by focusing on the “grooves” that He has cut. Stop looking at your faith. Stop looking at the results. Stop looking at your deeds. Christ is our fixed reality. WHEN YOU SEE CHRIST YOU SEE YOURSELF!

“For I am not ashamed of the good news of Jesus Christ, for IT is the power of God to salvation (deliverance, freedom)” Romans 1:16

Remember. An illustration is only an illustration. Don't read into what I've written thinking that I'm trying to give all kinds of hidden meanings, okay? :)

What if they made a:

  • WWJD?” key machine? This key machine has a separate hinge for each key so that you could decide if you will follow at any given point. Don't buy your keys from a WWJD machine. Why? If the two keys shift at any time in the process then the copy is no good.
  • “Freewill” key machine? We're still waiting for the blank to “decide” to get cut.
  • “Intellectual” key machine? Haven't figured out how it works yet!
  • “Charismatic” key machine? Blasted thing won't sit still long enough so the copies are too erratic! :)
  • “Confession” key machine? Keeps going in and out of alignment.
  • “Losing your salvation” key machine? It rejects perfectly good keys.
  • “Broken & Contrite” key machine? It doesn't work … and it's sorry about it?

Hey! Can any of you suggest any other Key Machines? Let me know.

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Random Shovelquote: True Testimony (view all shovelquotes)

Our testimony is not a prepared speech stuck in the past but is a living reality of the only true life that is within us, who is Christ. source