I don't know if you have children, but one of the greatest challenges of parenting is instilling in your children the habit of turning off lights and shutting doors when they leave a room or enter a house. I have come to the conclusion that many people don't actually learn this habit until they have to pay the electric bill, but nevertheless, we try. We can only hope that someday our kids will understand the value and habit of following through, and shutting a door or turning off a light when one is not in a room!
But opening and shutting doors is also a metaphor for something else. As a person of faith, a believer in the living God, I believe that God directs our footsteps in life and one of the means by which He directs us is by "opening and shutting doors." Another way we talk about this, at least in secular terms, is by talking about taking advantage of "windows of opportunity."
In the last year, I have had a sense that doors and windows were shutting in my life. The opportunities to pursue my call and vocation were becoming limited. The signs were all there as I understood them. I did not understand why these things were happening when I was so convicted that this was what I needed to be doing. So I entered a season of prayer, seeking more specifically what God wanted from me, or in what way could I better serve Him.
He has answered that prayer by opening windows and doors. So like a person who opens their front door after a tornado has passed through, I slowly looked through the door that was opening before me and began to look around. The view is both exhilarating and challenging to look beyond the door. Yet, I stepped back in to the house and began to pray some more. I began to ask the hard questions of my wife and friends.
And I continue to pray. I have invested so much in this part of my life, and at my age - 47 this November! - I wonder if this isn't a good time. But then I realize that doubt is "anti-faith" and if there is anything I need to exercise right now, it's faith. I've got to trust God that this is the right thing, the right opportunity at this stage of my short life.
So I continue to pray, but I also begin to step beyond the open door more and more. Each time I do, I become more and more convicted that the door is open for a reason, God's reason, and my only response can be faithful obedience.
Helen Keller once said, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. "
Jesus said, "Take up your cross and follow me." He also said, Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Seek God. Look for the open windows and doors. Then walk through them in faith.