Open doors imply beginnings. New things. Possibility. Adventure.
Closing doors too often imply endings (often not desired ones). Trepidation. Uncertainty. Fear.
I can get excited about the opening of a door. I love adventure and a journey ripe with possibility.
But a closed door?
When I see a closed, or a closing door, I’m focused on the ending, the closing. I’ve yet to see the new door that will open, and, so often, I have no idea what that new door will entail. Cognitively, I know there will be another door, but what if it isn’t as good as this door was? What if it leads to conflict, heart ache, or even pain? What if I can’t find that new door at all, but am instead left wandering the halls of life looking for the door I am meant to open? Stumbling along, lost and clueless, missing what should have been, could have been, or what was supposed to be? Instead, what if I find some other door I was never meant to open at all and find myself somewhere I never wanted to be?
In these moments of my life, I am reminded that I am to live by faith, not by sight. I am supposed to trust, to believe that God is in control–that all will be well.
It sounds so easy, but then why is it so darn hard?
It’s so darn hard because I’ve grown up. I’ve been confronted by the reality that God, though in control, is not averse (actually quite the opposite) to leading us to and through difficulty. So, yes there will be a door, but just as when I was a child and I was scared to open my closet door lest there be a Boogeyman on the other side, so I am scared to see what might be lurking on the other side of this door. I really can’t know what will be on the other side.
Will it be good things? Exciting things? Will I find myself in the mountain top experiences of my life?
Or will I find myself in another desert, confronted with difficulty and a season of struggle?
No matter how often I read my Bible and see how trial is not only a part of life, but a necessary and formative part of it, my humanity can’t help but cringe away from it. Yes, it might be good for me, character building, turning the dross of my selfish existence to something more refined and infinitely better, but, gosh darn it! It hurts! And I don’t want to open the door if it’s going to hurt!
Perhaps that’s why, as I get older, I tend to get stuck in ruts. I get lethargic. I resist the ideas of change, taking risks, or stepping away from what I know (even if it’s not everything I want) and daring to step into the vague halls, the indistinct surroundings of possibility.
Maybe it is the curse of age, or perhaps the weight of the responsibility of being a parent. I know that change was something I embraced when I was young. It excited me, invigorated me. The sense of possibility was intoxicating. Perhaps not age, but disappointment sours that particular wine and when there is so much more at stake than just my own well-being, well, I’m hesitant to rock the boat.
Either way, the reality is sometimes we don’t choose to close those doors, they smack us in the butt as they slam closed behind us.
Sometimes maybe that’s what it takes for God to get us moving. Maybe the ugliness, the betrayals, the injustices that led to that door closing really are the hand of God–even though it seems like the unfairness of chance, a boss, or a loved one . . .
Regardless, of why and how this particular door has closed, I have determined that I am going to channel myself of old. I am going to look past the closing of this particular door and I am going to choose to imagine the doors that could be opening, not with a sense of trepidation, but with a sense of adventure. I am going to believe that it will not be a monster on the other side of this door, but rather something even better than what I’m leaving behind. And I know, even if it is the Boogeyman . . . well, all things work together for my good, not for my comfort, but for my good.
And, if it is a monster, well, I’m not going to take it sitting down. I’m going to take it head on and kick that monster’s a**! 😉