When one door closes, another door opens; but we often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see which one has opened for us. – Alexander Graham Bell
This quote can sometimes be really inspiring right? Change your perspective! Shift your view! Look for the positives! Keeping pressing on. Sometimes I can really get down with this sentiment. Then, there are times when I can’t. These are the times, I believe, that God is building your character for something even greater. Something better than simply happening upon another open door. Sometimes I believe we have to learn how to hang out in the hallways.
Our lives are this ever-growing ever changing process. And truthfully we never really have “arrived.” If we think we’ve arrived, we’re sadly mistaken. Just because we get the job we want, or the boyfriend we want, or the house, or the car, or the husband, or wife, or kids, etc, the list goes on – does NOT mean we have arrived. As soon as we get there, we realize “Okay, we’ve got this, now what?” We are never fully satisfied human beings. We are never truly content with where we are once we “get what we want,” because we can see that there is always something more or different or better to crave.
This is how the story goes. And yet – we start to become frustrated when there aren’t open doors for us to walk through immediately. Think of it this way:
You’ve got this really nice house, with a HUGE hallway. Off of the hallway are hundreds of different rooms. The room you just came out of though, it became dangerous. This room was stifling your growth, you ran out of room for your emotions in there. The room also lost it’s AC, and it became hot and sticky. It made you feel nauseous being in there. It became suffocating, and you were unable to think clearly and hear from the voice of God because of how physically debilitating this room became. You KNEW you had to get out of there. You just knew it. So, what did you do? – You left. You went into the hallway.
Again – remember: this hallway is HUGE. The hallway has lots of opportunity for growth even here. There is a bookshelf filled with all sorts of new worlds to explore, there is a beautiful mirror for which to see the growth you’ve made. There is air, lots and lots of air. Room to breathe. There’s a comfy couch on which you can sit and take a good long rest here. But it is the hallway, after all. You know there are many other doors to walk through and rooms to explore in this massive mansion of a house.
BUT – the rest of the house is still somewhat under construction. You might be able to enter through a door, but when you get inside you won’t be happy. You’ll find there is sawdust everywhere, and 2×4’s lying around, as well as furniture is missing, and there hasn’t been any air vents installed. You still can’t breathe. OR you enter into another door and it’s actually leading outside; but the outside is a barren land. There’s still trash everywhere, there hasn’t been any grass or trees planted. There is no beauty to behold here.
SO WHY? Why did we want to rush out of our deliciously cool hallway where we can read our books, and drink our coffee, and take a true rest? Why did we want to rush this process? When we walked through those unfinished rooms, we were required to grab hammers and saws and GET TO WORK! More work than we were wanting or expecting. And yet again, we became unsatisfied. But guess what happens now? Now we are stuck completely a room or a space that we weren’t ready to complete because we didn’t have the knowledge or skill set. Will we still learn from entering into this room? Will we still grow in the process, sure! But will we be content or satisfied in doing it? – probably not.
I say all this to say, embrace your hallway! Create space in your hallway for growth. Allow yourself to truly rest in your hallway. Allow yourself to truly trust in the sovereignty of the Lord. Truly believing in and living in his sovereignty over your life, and truly believing he has whats best for you means you do no throw yourself a pity party every time something that you want to happen doesn’t, it means you don’t speak bitter or harsh words about yourself or your situation, it means you live out that belief. Truly trusting in the sovereignty of God and hanging out in this luscious hallways he’s bestowed to you means your heart will not be troubled, because of the immense amount of grace He gives you every single day. Job 13:15 says “Though he slay me, I will hope in Him.”
How can we embrace our hallways? How can we hope in Him, though it FEELS like we are being slain? The first step, is to acknowledge the hallway. The hallway isn’t taboo. The hallway isn’t a “lesser than” space from the rooms that other people might be in. The hallway isn’t a space of frustration. The hallway is a place of rest. Acknowledge it. The second step, would be to be vulnerable with the Lord in your spot in the hallway. Use this as your communion with him. Use this as your time to truly discover what he’s trying to teach you. READ THE BOOKS. Sit and read and be. Life is long, life is not defined by the types of rooms we enter. Life is not defined by the amount of time spent in the hallway. Life is defined by how we respond to our open and closed doors, and how we learn to hang out in the hallways.
Remember this, whenever you feel a door has closed and another has not yet “opened.” That door you walked through, the room you outgrew, sometimes it’s that same door that is the “open door” we are suppose to walk back through. And where does this put us? It puts us in the hallway. This is sometimes the exact place we are supposed to be. Hang out here.