Yesterday afternoon when Tahoe and I returned home from a class, we headed through the garage entry to the kitchen. ‘Yikes’, I thought, as I realized that, ‘Houston, we have a problem!’ The bi-fold doors to the laundry room were ajar and one of them obstructed the garage door from swinging fully open. Let’s not discuss the flawed architectural design of these two passages…they are what the are…barring an expensive renovation.
Previously, on more than one occasion, this situation created a broken laundry room door, and I was keenly aware that there was potential damage and destruction on the other side of this pathway. If I gently push through the doorway I might have a chance to protect and salvage the laundry entrance. ‘Be careful. Ease through the door with caution,’ I thought. For a moment, I was tempted to get upset because the laundry room doors had not been closed…um…again. Hmmm. ‘Who can I blame?’ I was irritated. But, as I squeezed through the garage door (as if a wheelchair can squeeeeeze through anywhere) to minimize damage, I reasoned, ‘It’s only a door. It can be fixed. I’d like new laundry doors anyway!’ Victory over the blame game is oh so sweet.
I ignored the damaged door and gave Tahoe a break and some playtime, worked on emails, ate a bite and made a few calls. Then I headed back to the door to inspect the casualty. Fortunately, it was merely knocked off it’s track and was easy to maneuver out of harm’s way until my hero engineer husband came home and repaired the minor mishap.
I like closed doors. I really like closed doors.
Closed doors are clean and attractive.
Closed doors give privacy.
Closed doors hide the chaos behind them.
In our house, it’s my ongoing adventure to ‘control’ the disorder even if it’s behind a closed door. Let’s straighten, organize and label! Let’s make everything tidy and neat, and if there’s not enough time to thoroughly clean, let’s stuff the disorder in a drawer or behind a door and close it so the house ‘appears’ spick-and-span . I have amazing helpers to ‘physically’ organize – you don’t want that job, do you?
This year has challenged me to move beyond my ‘closed door compulsion’ to ‘open new doors’, particularly in the area of friendships…to move from control and closed to open and intentional. I’ve recognized that as I tread toward more transparency and vulnerability, I’m able to relinguish myself and encourage with greater passion and effectiveness. It’s made me a better friend.
Closed doors are a barrier.
Closed doors exclude.
Open doors invite.
Open doors allow exposed messes.
Open doors create opportunities.
There’s no doubt that closed doors protect. Protection and safety are good things to a point – there are seasons and occasions to keep doors closed. But there are also times to wrangle our tendencies toward risk-aversion and self-protection so they don’t cost us the intangible riches of fully living and giving.
I admire those who seem to have a knack for outward focused openness. God’s helping me learn to navigate new ‘open doors’ with wisdom and trust – as well as respect for the person He made me to be. It’s scary and exciting!
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.