Life is a series of doors. Step off of your cozy thresholds to begin and you come to doors. One big one. A few. Many…
Some are easy to open. Some are hard to open. There’s everything in between.
Sometimes, we stop opening doors because it got too hard to find the key, turn the knob, and push open the door. Sometimes, we stop opening doors because we got really bit by what was on the other side that we didn’t expect and it really hurt!
As we know, the path toward love (Jesus) is not always as easy as opening the door. It’s rarely, open the door and “phew, it’s you, good, job done.” Nope.
Sometimes, it is. We were so afraid to open the door and we FINALLY drudge up the courage to open it, and it was so perfect and easy and full of love. Why didn’t we do this before? Why were we so afraid?
We also know that sometimes we open the door and it is scary and hard and heartbreaking. We know this place, it’s the door behind which is betrayal and loss (the cross).
We also know that as we continue through doors, we will grow and become stronger. We will have a deeper abiding Courage. We will cultivate a deeper kindness. The hard doors can be hard and ugly, but they help us grow and evolve.
It’s easy to stay behind the door and pretend that it’s our side that doesn’t have a knob. “Sorry, Jesus, can’t find the doorknob, guess we can’t go through this door.” Not ready. That’s too deep. That’s too much. If we keep the door closed, it locks out the monsters and the demons. It keeps us from having to test our faith and courage. It keeps us from having to face our demons. But, here’s a secret, our demons are on our side of the door…
Perhaps the devil in the desert is our own inner demons rising up in that still, quiet place beyond the door. Opening doors. Daily Reflection. Meditation. Prayer. Treks. Pilgrimages. Adventures.
Why do we take a gap years and time off to trek around some strange country or continent? It opens a door. Lots of them. It’s terrifying, to open a door and not know what’s on the other side. There are lots of monster in the woods and in strange countries. There are fears we don’t have to face in our ordinary lives. Is this place safe? What if I get lost? I could die (sometimes literally in those more adventurous adventures). We don’t very often have to face or think about life and death in our ordinary lives.
And that’s before we even get to our own heads. There’s no one to talk to, but the various versions of yourself in your head. The angels and the demons. The scared little you and the everything is just fine you.
We can see why we want to leave the door shut. We know we have our demons to face, but if we don’t open the door…they won’t find us. Like if we just pull the covers up tight and lie real still, the monster under the bed won’t see us.
But they are still there (MAYBE not the monster under the bed). Putting a pack on and trekking off to unfamiliar terrain, through that door, with no one but yourself…it’s like an echo of going off into the desert for forty days and inviting the demons to come out and play…
And opening the door makes us wonder: am I strong enough to face whatever is going to be behind that door? Spiders? Dust mites? Old memories? Guilt and shame? Anger and hatred–our own/others? Feeling unloved and unworthy…yet again? All of our junk is sometimes behind the doors. We gotta bring them to the light to heal. So that maybe, just maybe, the next door doesn’t come with all that junk.
No wonder we stand behind our pretty doors, or familiar messy ones, and stay put. Nope, sorry, no doorknob on this side either. Another little secret: God knows where the door knobs are, even when God is on the other side from us.
The familiar is safe, even if it’s not perfect. Even if the door we stand behind is dangerous and terrible, it’s familiar.
We also know we won’t change or grow. Behind our closed doors, things get more and more narrow focused. We get more and more closed in in our same safe stories, our same safe people, our same safe scenery. Closed doors keep us small and confined.
When we open the door, we open our minds, we open our hearts. We become love. But we have to open the door to whatever’s beyond the door. Eventually, it leads to love (Jesus), but there’s always a bit more work to do before we get there. Like…more doors.
Our own blocks and walls. We’re not smart enough. We’re brave enough. I don’t wanna do that!! Please, no!!
Growth is hard…I always like the mess of the evolution of a butterfly. They literally break down into practically a puddle in the cocoon, but look what emerges!
That could be us. So brave. So strong. So kind. So loving. So perfect. So hopeful. So
Often we dream so much about what’s on the other side that we don’t dare open the door. What if it’s not there? What if we don’t Become?
One: we can open the door and it is there.
Two: sometimes it takes work.
Three: sometimes it takes work and the outcome we hoped for never comes, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still, open the door, do the work. We may fail, but often failure is the path to another door…without the failure or pain another door doesn’t appear. We stay stuck….
As for becoming…just trust. Keep following the path. Keep opening doors. Trust in God.