When the doors of life close in our faces, sometimes it feels like the world is ending. Sometimes I wish that it would just end.
There are some times in life when we are so positive, so certain that we know what is best. We think we know what we want, and we are ready to “take the next step.” Yet life is a complicated thing. So often it does not unfold easily. It brings with it twists and disappointments, and outright suffering. Doors end up closing, and the plans that we had end up disintegrating. “What could have been” washes out with the tide.
I’ve been considering this phenomenon recently. I’ve noticed how it can affect people as they consider not only their past, but also their future. We can be hurt by the thought of opportunities that have been lost, and we can be afraid of losing opportunities down the road. I consider how all of this could end in paralyzing fear or bitterness…
But then I also consider closed doors in my past. It’s easy to think of ones that cost me so much pain and created phases in my life that I can’t imagine reliving. Yet I can also look back at instances of the “closed door” effect in my life and realize that I am thankful that I was pushed away from taking the steps I initially had in mind. There are some doors that I am so glad that I didn’t enter. Going through with my original plans would have given me a life that I now realize that I don’t want.
Some of those instances of doors closing were pretty painful! One of the doors that closed was my ability to pursue schooling as a musician, which sounded more and more appealing as various teachers recommended that course. The reason the door closed was that I experienced painful overuse injuries. I certainly don’t have any burning need to relive those years of my life! But in the end, I think I can see the value of having been directed toward a different path.
But what about the times when door slam shut right in our faces and we can make no sense of it, and see no reason for it? Yes… Those times certainly do exist…
Part of what helps me in such times is remembering the closed-door situations that now make some sense to me. I see a pattern in life, that things happen for a reason. Sometimes the lights turn on, and I get to see what the reason is. Other times I don’t see the reason at all. Yet I believe that, though the darkness hides it, the reason is still there… And if I could see that reason, I would be so thankful that my path has been redirected.
Ultimately, I don’t just base this view of life on “hoping that it is so.” Choosing to be positive can certainly change a person’s perspective on life, but it cannot change the meaning or outcome of what happens. I want something more solid. I want a place where I can find promises about the meaning of every closed-door, and the final word on everything that happens. I want promises like this one: “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to hurt you, to give you a future and a hope.” Now that’s a promise. I actually believe that such a promise of meaning for our lives – all the easy and hard that we experience – is available to us. It is a beautiful thing. Every closed-door is given meaning. (See the about section for more concerning this topic.)
Closed doors aren’t easy, as those of us who have experienced them can attest to. They confuse us, hurt and even haunt us. But maybe they lead to new opportunities… maybe they move us away from bad situations… And maybe we just don’t know yet. I do hope that you will hold on through the not knowing…and find true answers in the end.