Sumo Sticker!

Are you looking at the right information when making your decisions?  It’s easy to get distracted!


There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

Many of you may have read the book Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life in which we challenged you to share your stories to bring glory to God.  When the body of Christ shares what the Lord has done for them, and in them, good things happen!

Recently I reflected on some past experiences that I hadn’t thought about for a while.   So I thought I’d share one with you to encourage you to share how God has worked in your life and the faith lessons you’ve learned.

In a conversation with some parents about teaching their children critical thinking/discernment I remembered something that occurred during my daughter’s senior year in high school. This happened when I was still an air traffic controller at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and and living in Dundee.

My daughter, Alisa, called one winter night to ask for my help because she couldn’t get into her car — the key would not unlock the door.  I had already gone to bed because I was scheduled for an early shift the next morning. I’d always told my children that if they are in any situation and need my help they should call and I will be there, so I gladly got up and went to help Alisa.

I arrived at her friend’s apartment around 11:30 PM.  It had been snowing and both the ground and the cars were covered in about an inch of snow.  As I pulled into the parking lot I saw Alisa walk out of her friend’s apartment toward the parking lot, and at the same time I spotted her car.  It had a sumo sticker on the bumper.  (Long story, but because of the years we lived in Japan we’ve always liked sumo wrestlers.)

I pulled up to her car, got out and put my spare key into the lock.  It unlocked immediately.  Alisa looked at me and said, “I don’t understand dad, I couldn’t get my key to work.  I tried everything!”  I responded with something like, “Don’t worry about it!  These things happen.  It’s all worked out.”

By this time it was 11:45 PM and I headed home, glad that I didn’t get frustrated about the needless trip.  If I had, I might have said something that would have made my daughter feel bad.

When I was halfway home, my phone rang and  it was Alisa.  “Dad, you’re not going to believe this.  I went inside to get my things and when I came out, the car was locked and my key won’t work again!”  No worries.  I just turned around and went back to help her.

As I pulled into the parking lot Alisa was standing next to the car so I got out, put my key into the lock and . . . nothing.  It would not unlock.  I tried the passenger door . . . no luck!  How crazy was that.  Only 15 minutes before I unlocked the door without a hitch.  We used the cigarette lighter in my car to heat the key, trying to “unfreeze” the lock. It didn’t work. I then went to the gas station and bought some stuff that was supposed to unfreeze locks — it didn’t work.

It was then about 12:30 AM.  Totally frustrated we sat in my car and called AAA.  They said it would be two hours before they could get there.  I refused to get upset. I was still glad my daughter called for my help and I always want her to feel that she can do that.

So Alisa and I just sat in the car and chatted.  It was a nice time.   As we were chatting I just happened to look at her car, and to my surprise there was no sumo sticker on the bumper!  I looked four cars down and I saw… you guessed it… the sumo sticker!

Unbelievable!  The car we had been trying to get into was the exact same model and color as my daughter’s car.  Since it was dark the first time I came, and the cars were covered with snow, I looked for the bumper sticker.  The second time I saw my daughter who had already walked out to her car — or, I should say, what looked exactly like her car.  Who would have thought that there could be two identical cars so close together.

I learned an important lesson that night.  We live in a world where we don’t always see clearly.  We can be “blinded” and think we know what is right, when it isn’t.  We need to be diligent in seeking accuracy and truth in everything we see and hear.  And that especially applies to biblical truths.

God’s Word tells us to “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

Make sure you see and hear clearly …and don’t try to “unlock the wrong car.”

Stay bold,

Carl Kerby

Carl Kerby is an inspiring, motivating and highly respected Christian speaker. With more than 20 years of ministry experience, Carl shares his extensive knowledge and understanding of God’s creation in his presentations, outreach events, books and other resources as the President and founding board member of Reasons for Hope, Inc.