Hi! How’s it going friends?
We’re almost through the winter of 2018/2019. Actually, by the time many of you read this, Spring 2019 will have officially hit the calendar. Yay! I think Spring brings about the optimism of new beginnings. The cold temperatures (of Michigan) gradually climb the thermostat. The robins return to wake us every morning. The trees bud, certain flowers (particularly tulips) sprout and bloom quickly. The windows and doors–once closed off from the frigid air–suddenly open to inviting fresh breezes and ambiance of new seasonal sounds. The days grow longer, earlier.
Can you see it? It’s down-right inspiring, isn’t it? The onset of Spring invites change in so many different ways. It gives us the hope that we can change things for the better with the new year. My wife has a particular word she’s decided to apply to life this year:
Ooooooo! Say it with me one time, and just let it roll off the tongue. In its simplicity, it holds power.
That word reminds me to ask myself, “What are you gonna do about it, Smith”. See…I can say I’m going to be intentional in my decisions this year; but unless I purposefully act, I’m simply leaving the decision making to chance. We all know that chance is lazy. Chance dupes us into saying things like:
“I’ll start tomorrow.”
“I’ll do it when I’m motivated.”
“As soon as the Lord makes it clear to me, then I’ll move on it.”
“I don’t feel like it’s my time for that, yet.”
Lazy. Pitiful. Sorry. Whiny.
Do you know I put off a flu shot for years, because I was afraid of the sting of the needle? True story. I can’t make this stuff up. The day I went in to get an updated tetanus shot and a flu shot, I actually began sweating just before the nurse stuck me. Turns out, I never felt a thing. How dumb was that? Wasted time, man. I put up with seasonal illnesses for years because I was too stubborn to literally take my medicine.
This leads to the doors up there, in the picture. I really want to talk about closing a few doors in your life. I hope by the time I’m done, it makes sense to you friend.
You see the red door, center-photo? Let’s say that door represents the possibilities of Spring 2019. Let’s say you’ve jumped on the Misty band-wagon (like me), and decided to secretly adopt her word-of-the-year for yourself. You’ve decided to be intentional this year, so you’re standing in front of that door anticipating its opening. But…
You have a small problem; in this example you have four problems.
You’ve left a couple doors, from your past, open. One of them’s letting in a draft; another’s allowing a foul stench to cloud the air; another seems to be sucking the light right out of the room while the last door–well this one’s cracked just enough for you to hear the voices of last year’s failures snickering at you. I think the beauty of this example is, you don’t need me to point out which colors represent which problems. You’ve subconsciously already done that, haven’t you?
There’s a saying in the Christian world. It goes something like this: “When God closes one door, He opens another.”
Yesterday, my doctor officially told me, my knees are shot. No more basketball for me. Rather than be depressed over never being able to run a full-court game again, I’m gonna (watch this, now) intentionally close the door on that chapter of my life, and turn the knob on the door that leads to me taking up the game of golf. Yeah…I’m gonna do that on purpose.
So, somebody might say, “Hey! That’s a great story, Enn. What’s that got to do with God opening up a door after closing one?”
Well…let’s revisit YOU standing in front of the red door of Spring, patiently waiting for it to open.
Have you ever noticed, sometimes it seems like God simply isn’t moving in your life? Maybe He’s just waiting for you to make an intentional move of your own. Maybe–just maybe–God waits for us to shut a few doors and cut off a few things we don’t need in our lives anymore, before He decides to open up a new opportunity; a new ministry; a new life-change for us.
You can waste as much time and energy as you have available, trying to turn the knob on that red door. But buddy, if you don’t shut the door on last year’s failures; slam the door on that foul stench; cutoff the heat-stealing drafty door and secure the light in your room, that red door may never open to the goodness of what’s behind it. Why should you allow the wretchedness of all the other open doors to pollute the optimism and joy waiting behind the red door of Spring?
Be intentional. I mean really. If you’re only going to be intentional with your lips, and not with your actions…forget this whole message. It’s a waste of your time. You’re obviously content with your complacency.
I’m saying be truly intentional. Start shutting some of those doors you brought into the new year. Make some decisions and stick to them in heart and mind. If you commit there, your actions will follow. Be intentional.
Yep, I’m talking to you. Don’t just talk about it. Be about it. It’s time to shut some doors. Spring’s tomorrow.