Our family's Second Annual Back To School Escape Room Tradition began with the host's explanations of the rules and his gracious dispensation of helpful tips. Naturally, we paid very close attention because we were going to beat the best team's time and get our picture on the wall come hell or high water (
So after about 30 minutes, I found myself at that dang CD player. Two things I knew: the padlock I was working on had everything to do with the CD we found because there was a picture of an ear on the bottom of the lock. I knew it, we all knew it: this part of the puzzle had everything to do with listening.
So listen I did.
There were ten tracks, each with the name of an animal followed by a variety of animal sounds. Alapaca, armadillo, capuchin, tree frog, howler monkey... on it went. I tried the first letter of the animals in order. Nothing. I listened for patterns. I double checked my spelling. Meanwhile, the minutes marched right past me, victory seeming less and less likely as my frustration grew.
In a standard act of mercy, the escape room host bestows clues at specific intervals and just as I was about to start banging my head into the wall, a clue was delivered.
"Don't just listen to what's inside the tent. Listen to what is outside of the tent as well."
I looked up. The ceiling had been draped with semi-sheer netting material with broad leaves on top in keeping with our Amazon theme. Somewhere in the ceiling, ambient noise was being piped in. In fact, this jungle serenade had been playing THE WHOLE TIME and yet I was so focused on all the tasks at hand that I hadn't even considered it. All the noises you'd expect to hear in a rainforest had been our background noise from the moment we stepped in the room. It was only when you really stopped to listen that you could hear a specific animal sound repeating at regular intervals. The whooping sound was a perfect match for the howler monkey on the CD and Voila!.... H O W L E R M O N K E Y was the key to opening the padlock.
I just can't get over the lesson.
the looking up
the P A U S E
the searching outside of the task at hand.
It was... and it is... the key to unlocking everything.
"I lift my eyes up to the hills- where does my help come from?" Psalm 121:1