Resolutions. You either love them or hate them. And, apparently, whichever opinion you have….feelings can be strong! However, even those who shun resolutions often embrace goals, themes or words for the year that help them focus. Very similar – but somehow different. Just what is it that makes us hesitant to formulate resolutions? Or goals? Or even new beginnings?
I’m sure the answers are many. Very many. And this post is not necessarily about resolutions – either yea or nay – but more about change. To state and then embrace a resolution, or a new goal, implies change…and to some degree or another, all of us resist change. Some change is good – even exciting. But other changes tend to challenge us (and, often, those are the ones we need resolutions for!)
Change often requires effort. Work – even hard work. That is easy to see in efforts to change our weight, to eliminate debt or correct bad habits. But sometimes the work is mental or emotional…and we just do not want to commit to the effort needed. I get that. Not to make an excuse to avoid necessary change but I do understand and appreciate that change involving a lot of work can be daunting. And exhausting.
Another obstacle to change is the real focus of my post today, and that is the idea of “the closed door.” Change – certainly life-altering change – usually requires at least one door to be closed. And closed permanently. The door closed might be a long-held dream. It might be a season or even a way of life. Like I mentioned earlier, some closed doors might be exciting….when a bride closes the door to single life, for instance. Others might involve a sense of anticipation – waiting to see what new doors open – a sense of fear or maybe a mixture of both. Of course, some doors are closed with great sorrow, regret, grief, and even pain.
What do we do once the door is closed? You’ve probably heard the saying, “When one door closes, another door opens….” but do you know the rest of Alexander Graham Bell’s famous quote? He said, “When one door closes, another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” We have to resist staring at the closed door.
Once we realize the need for change, and for a door to close, we can begin to anticipate not only what God can do but what He wants to do. He has plans for our future. For our next season, next chapter, next open door. To be sure, the next door does not always open immediately. That is where I have found myself – for longer than I had imagined. Waiting for new doors to open. But even in the waiting, there is blessing. There is growth and there is evidence of God’s faithfulness.
As 2020 begins, I am anticipating open doors. Looking forward to them. And I want to be not only ready but eager to walk through each new door that Christ opens in the months ahead. Do you have doors you are waiting to open?