There is a popular quote that has been around for a long time, and is still circulated today, that says, “When God closes one door, He opens another.” I understand the sentiment, or message. It is one of HOPE. It encourages us to believe when something is taken away, or withheld from us, that something better is coming down the road. In terms of a hopeful message, I love it. In terms of theology, I’m not sure it holds up. Now let me say right up front, that I’m not a Bible scholar or theologian, but I am not convinced that everything unfortunate or unhappy that happens to us is God’s fault or doing. I don’t actually imagine Him going around slamming all these doors shut. I believe we have to accept that doors open and close for a variety of reasons.
Other People Can Close Our Doors. This ‘door’ is actually presumed to be our heart. We leave it open and wait for someone to walk through, love us and hitch their wagon to ours. The thing about hearts (and doors), is that we can’t seal them shut to prevent escape. If someone chooses to walk back out, there really isn’t much we can do about it. In fact, in this case, they don't even close our door; they just left the same way they came in. We can choose to keep it open for the next one, or we can close it while we heal. This scenario doesn’t always mean a love relationship; it can also be a friendship, or even family. We cannot force anyone to stay in our lives, or predict when they may choose to leave. Maybe it was something we did they didn’t like, or maybe they are dealing with issues of their own. Whatever the case may be, we have to comes to terms with and respect another’s wishes if they cross back over our threshold.
We also have to contend with other losses. We may lose our job or an opportunity we have been working on. Maybe we invested time, money or other resources into a venture that didn’t pan out. Sometimes it is just bad timing, or bad luck. It could also be an unwise venture to begin with. Unfortunate things happen to all of us from time to time. It does little good to assign blame. The idea is to learn lessons and grow so better decisions can be made next time. If it was just ‘one of those things’, then we learn grace and fortitude. (If we decide to.)
We Can Close Our Doors. Just like I mentioned above, it is pretty difficult for another person to close our door/heart. We pretty much control how open and receptive we are to others and opportunities. However, it can be a good thing to close our door for a bit. If the world is closing in and the chaos is effecting our peace, get up and close the door. Shut out the noise and turmoil and use the time to restore calm and peace to your life. Reflection, meditation and prayer can be useful tools and activities when we close our own door for awhile. Just don't stay hidden from sight too long. Swing wide those doors and get engaged back into your life.
The Wind Can Close Our Doors. Have you ever been in a room with an open door and an open window. If the wind blows just right at just the perfect angle, BAM the door shuts with no human (or divine) intervention. What does this mean? It means, sometimes things just happen. The tire goes flat, the milk gets sour, the payment got lost in the mail. The washing machine breaks, it rains on your vacation, your dog runs away. There is no way to escape the hazards of living this life, and it is of little good to worry about who is responsible. You just have to rise to the occasion; fix the tire, buy more milk, learn to sing in the rain.
Please understand I am not discounting faith. I absolutely believe that God does work in our lives and it is His mercy and love that carry us through. I just don't want to us to confuse Life's Disappointments with God's Disapproval.
One other point I want to make, is to not sit around waiting for your door to magically open. Get up and open it yourself! I am not saying to making a rash decision, or rush into another relationship when you are not ready. I am saying, do not waste your life waiting for something to happen TO you. Make life happen FOR you. We only have one life; a number of days allotted for us here. Please, my Hopefuls, make the most of every one. Do not sit on the sideline of your life, behind a closed door, watching it for movement or listening for a rustling behind it. Swing it open; wide open. Walk through it and enjoy, explore, LIVE!
God (and the rest of us) are waiting for you!
Hope With Abandon!