I have long been a bit obsessed with doors. I do not mean the classic rock group led by the mysterious Jim Morrison. I mean the ones that are defined like this:
door (dawr, dohr): noun:
1. a movable, usually solid, barrier for opening and closing an entranceway, cupboard, cabinet, or the like, commonly turning on a hinge or sliding in grooves.
2. a doorway
3. the building, house, etc., to which a door belongs
4. any means of approach, admittance, or access
5. any gateway marking an entrance or exit from one place or state to another.
Doors have always intrigued me. I love photos of doors from all over the world. I like how a front door to a home can evoke a specific feeling.
A door is a gateway.
To what? To where? To who?
The options of answers to those questions are endless. I have been pondering these things lately, especially with the New Year's holiday. New Year's always seems to be everyone's day to make changes, review things, and choose a new door to enter. A new approach to how they eat, prioritize, work out, build relationships or manage money. I look at New Year's as a choice of many doors. So I thought I would share with you some of my thoughts on the doors that are awaiting...
Lots of choices.... Sometimes I feel like I am staring at a long hallway with many doors. All of them look the same. How in the world am I supposed to know which one is the best one for me to open? Overwhelming.....daunting....confusing.....but energizing and fascinating as well. Which door would you open?
When I tap into my natural "gotta have control of things" part of my personality (and, believe me, it is a BIG part of who I am!) I wish that every door could have a peep hole or small window. If I could just have a little peek at what is behind door #2 I would feel so much better. I could make a much better informed decision. I could choose more wisely. To have a glance at what is behind that gateway would make things so simple. I like simple ya know! But would that be the best. Some of the best things in life are surprises. 7 years ago, if I had been able to look behind door #4 and see a little red-headed boy that was not planned I would probably have not opened that door. I am thankful that door didn't have that small window.
Some doors are the only opening in a home. They are the only source of light for the abode. Those doors are ones that I think should always be left open. I love the light and would never close that door. Many people all over the world have only one door. Those homes, if the door is left open, are very accessible and exposed. If closed, though, these homes are protected, private and sheltered. All of those attributes are ones I long for in my life. I want to be accessible to others but yet have my privacy. A single door'd dwelling might be a wise choice........
When standing on the threshold of a door it can seem quite narrow. It can feel like you would enter into a tight space with not much space or opportunity. Those doors can be deceiving. Sure, you open some and you do find yourself in a situation that is confining, restricting and limited. But, sometimes you open it and the view gets gradually wider, deep, comprehensive and radially spacious! Those are the doors that you look back at entering with gratitude.
Then of course there is the revolving door! I have felt like I was in a revolving door many times in my life. When I was a first time mom of a colicky, ear infection-plagued infant and my husband was away with the Navy many of my days felt like a revolving door. I just went round and round in circles. But if I take a step back that door served its purpose. I could navigate that "path" with my eyes closed if I needed. I could be on auto-pilot and not run into any big speed bumps or challenges. Familiarity with the lay of the land was a good thing for me. I also got an occasional burst of fresh air but still was protected. It kept my sights set on a short term time line (what was around the next bend?) and not on the big long timeline (when will Craig be home?).
A revolving door can have a positive purpose if you are open to seeing it that way.
One of my favorite doors is a sliding double-wide barn door! You don't need to be a big, able, tough, strong person to open it. Because it is on a sliding path it can be pushed open with 2 fingers sometimes. It is accessible to even the most fragile of folks. It also is extra wide. There is room for many people (or animals) to walk in side by side. The entryway is vast and welcoming. If it were possible I would have a home in which the front door was a sliding barn door. It would be smooth to open for everyone and many could stand at the threshold and feel welcomed in our home.
Then, of course, there is the church door. It can be very ornate or simple. People who enter these doors are hoping to encounter God within the walls of the building. I know that when I am in our church I do. I grew up as a child feeling that a church was "God's house" and was reverant when in it. I do believe that God is present in churches all over this world. I believe the doors to churches are the gateway for many to start and strengthen their faith walks. But I dream one day of going through a different door of "God's house". I believe that the church is not the physical building but it is the people and the earth. I have always been tugged in the direction of a different physical building and imagine that I might learn more about who God is if I chose that door to go through. This door would be one on the front of a poorly constructed tin building in a slum or grass hut in Africa like the blue one below.
I hope and pray to one day be given the honor to open the door to this kind of home.
There are so many "doors" in this life to choose from....so many we have access to, can approach or gain admittance to. How we deal with these choices can define our future. If we stress about them or have anxiety when facing them we will never be able to truly savor the incredible gift of a choice that we have. If we ignore the doors we miss out on many opportunities to enrich our lives. But if we are intrigued by the doors, embracing the potential lessons and fortunes that lie beyond the opening we can be assured of a life filled with possibility, promise and...maybe even purpose.
May you have many doors to choose from.
May you resist the temptation to peek through the small window.
May you enjoy the chance to open them.
May you learn and grow from each and every gateway that life presents you with.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Door Day!