Once upon a time, not so very long ago (about last week), a boy woke up early in the morning. The sun was shining brightly, the birds were singing happily, and he desperately wanted to play outside.
Knowing that his mother kept the back door locked, the boy carefully took the keys off the hook, chose the key for the back door, and escaped into the beckoning world beyond.
When his mother, still tired and slightly annoyed at herself for sleeping in, came downstairs to the kitchen and noticed the boy was outside. "Hmmm...", she ruminated, "I wonder how he got out there?"
As she cast her eyes about the room, she saw the car key on the counter top. This key was normally attached to the house keys, and she realised the boy must have used them to play outside.
The boy skipped into the house, joyful and carefree. His mother asked him where he put the keys, and when his pockets turned up empty, he shrugged his shoulders and ran off to play again.
His mother tried not to panic, but the shrill tone to her voice made it clear that she was worried. The boy helped her look in cupboards, under furniture, and in bushes. The keys could not be found!
Feeling worried, the boy's mother asked him to lead the family in prayer, in the hopes that their minds would be clear and they would know where to look.
To their disappointment, nobody found the keys.
Many days later, the boy's mother still had not found the keys. She was happy that she had spare keys, and although it was inconvenient to use the car key without a key ring, she had every key she needed.
But she still wanted to find the missing keys. She was grumbling over their loss, and while she tried not to feel annoyed at her son for losing them, it was hard not to harbour a bit of resentment. Looking in the back yard a bit more thoroughly, she spend some time on her hands and knees trying to find the keys.
While searching, a thought came to her mind. She realised that all this time, while she thought her son's prayer wasn't answered, it actually was answered before the prayer was even said.
The car key was waiting for her in the kitchen before she even knew the house keys were missing.
Her spare set of keys had the exact ones necessary for locking the house before she left the house or before bed at night.
Although what she wanted was to find the house keys quickly, she already had what she needed.
This thought filled her with peace.
(and she still hasn't found those keys)