Friday, June 3, 2016

Closing Doors -

We've all heard the saying, "When one door closes, another opens." And often we think of that as opportunity awaiting us when we think we have no options. However - I'm hear to say, "When one door closes, a door closes." And I'm not being fatalistic here, more a realist.

I don't believe that doors clicking shut are necessarily a bad thing. Think of it this way - you go to the ice cream shop, wanting burnt almond fudge ice cream. You get there and there is no burnt almond fudge ice cream. Ok, but there 22 other flavors, which have always been available, but you've always stuck with your one option. The burnt almond fudge ice cream door closed, and there wasn't another chocolate ice cream to take its place, but there were still plenty of flavors to choose from, just ones you'd never taken serious until the door had closed. More options? No, same as before. Just more clarity to see what is, and always has been, available.

Or - "Man, I am so stinkin' busy, I haven't had a moment to myself." And then the party you were supposed to go to is cancelled, and you get to stay home. A door closed. And suddenly you can stay home, not hustling to find something to replace the cancelled gig, but something that is already existing fills that spot.

You may even be a door-closer. Shutting doors, just to clear off space for what you already are doing. Or, shutting doors as you walk away from experiences that are best left behind. Or perhaps saying "no," to an offer, not because you expect something better to come up, or that you're shutting one door after another in a process of elimination, but just because "no" is the right thing to say.

And of course, we often think that others close doors for us. A job loss is often a time to think about what door will open to replace this closed door.

I've been working with Marv Loflin and some other amazing folks for about 8 years. We founded 2 businesses together - IHOU (International Hispanic Online University) and LearningU. Over the years, as our business model has changed, we've gone from feast to famine, as far as finances, sales, and number of employees is concerned. The past 3 years I've been working about 5 hours a week for LearningU, because my chaplaining and teaching has taken priority. And that's been great, until about 18 months ago when I realized the only reason I was staying with LearningU was because of my allegiance/loyalty to Marv. That door closes this next week. And as much as I'm going to miss a couple of folks, I won't miss others, and I won't have to try and "fit in" some of my LearningU responsibilities. A door closed, and I'm not looking for anything to open, right now! I'm perfectly happy having one less option. And having more time to do what is already overflowing out of some of my open doors.

Traveling to Alabama was another door closing experience. The trails I so wanted to hike were overgrown and not accessible, the canyon I wanted to visit was closed until Memorial Day, the house I thought I needed to say good-bye to did not even look like the house I left. And as Scott and I left Florence, AL, driving toward Tennessee, I realized these closures were doors closing behind me, and there was no pain. I was not sad I couldn't access what I thought I was wanting. Rather, I was looking forward. Doors closed. That's it.

My dear son has been having trials at work. He has worried and feared and spent many sleepless nights wondering how to handle various situations,circumstances, and people. Attempting to make things fair for everyone but himself. And he could not see any options. As he closed the door this week, the trials and turmoils were gone. And all of the rest of his life he'd been juggling, the areas where he'd made huge compromises, suddenly became less of a juggle, less of a burden, and available. He could see what was in front of him, because he had closed a door. His workplace wants him back, and even if he chooses to walk back through the door, it will be a new door - with changes that will be made, because he is defining the new.

I hope I'm making sense here. Closed doors are not dead ends. Closed doors are not a loss of options. Closed doors eliminate turmoil, narrow down choices, and provide us with less confusion and more clarity. There is no reason to mourn a closed/closing door. That's the only way to see what is still available - or what is more available.

Whether you close the door, or it's closed on you, look at it as an opportunity to re-evaluate your already existing open doors, before deciding whether or not you want to add one more door to your list of options.


  1. Really enjoyed this post. Sometimes I hope we get to revisit the doors we close later on--but even if we went back to that closed door, what was there before would be gone, or changed into something new. So I guess that makes it a new door anyway!


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