I miss the days of Little League and rat pack soccer. I miss the whistle blowing every four seconds while I watch 9 to 12-year-olds run around and play field hockey. I miss Discovery Zone and, as Bill Cosby calls them, “idiot mittens.” I miss three little helmeted “bubble heads” skiing down the side of Attitash Bear Peak. But, I love having adult children. They make me laugh, and make me think, and they challenge me.
Tonight, in yet another hospital bed, I read my son Joshua’s blog at The Sixty Percent and it made me think.
I’ve been doing a fair amount of writing and thinking about what it means to have God write his story on my life and what my part is in that writing. Josh’s blog made me think of the future and what part my decisions will play in my story.
The following paragraphs are what I wrote in a comment reply to his latest blog post about seeing options as doors to either push through or ignore.
“I think it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about seeing any doors. Right now my options are the fewest they’ve ever been. Yet, I still have a lot of possibilities, numerous doors.
There’s the door that my heart aches to go through. It’s the door that I left the safety of my last job to push through. It’s the door that establishes a brutally honest community of friends pursuing what it means to follow Jesus. I was stepping through it when it suddenly slammed closed and broke my nose with news of my needing a liver transplant.
More than anything I still want to go through it but I’m confused if it’s the right door for me. I feel like I’m still going to walk through it but just not right now. Like the apostle Paul when he sat in a dank stone prison, I need to learn to be content no matter my circumstance.
I believe it is door ‘right’ (correct), but it is not door ‘right-now’ as I want it to be. Has God allowed me to be where I am right now because I have to finish this part well in order to move through that door? I really don’t know.
I know I’m here for a reason although I’m not too happy about being here. Finishing this chapter is part of his plan for me, if I skip it I miss an important part of the story he’s writing in my life.
There are several other doors; being a photographer, a web designer, working in an office, being a life coach, being a writer, going back into full-time church work, or just staying where I am.
I think a couple of those doors are going to be included in my making it through the door I really want to go through. Maybe I have a couple of sets of French doors leading into the same room?
It was a full four years before I left my last job when I first got the itch to leave the room. I had no idea what room I wanted to go into, I just started getting a stirring knowing that leaving was in the future.
It was like I was driving down the road with my hazard lights on just to warn people behind me that up ahead I was going to turn maybe left or maybe right but I just wanted them to be ready and know ‘something’s gonna happen.’
Driving down that road was just a necessary part of the trip.
I haven’t thought much about opportunities lately. Thanks for making me think.”
I can still see my little toe head with his huge blue eyes looking at me and now he’s a man helping me consider my life decisions.
I’ve had times when the Lord has put me in rooms where I really didn’t want to be. Out of high school I wanted to go to Bible college but that door was nailed shut. I ended up at the almost opposite of Bible college, our State University to major in marketing and journalism. It was not the room I wanted to be in, but looking back today, from this room where all I can do is write, I can see why God, in his providence, guided me there. When I look at my beautiful wife of 28 years, who I met and married in college, I am definitely glad that God directed me there. At the time I was very angry at him.
I’ve learned that during the times I’m in an uncomfortable room where I am not real happy, I need to trust God when exit doors do not open. Hindsight has taught me that he has allowed me to be in rooms to prepare me for my future.
I’m glad to be in the room that I’m in now but I also do not like it much. It’s a tough room. It’s hard and I’m ready to leave and press on. Recovering from a major organ transplant is not an easy process. But, I believe I will look back on it and know that God, in his providence, allowed me to go through this to prepare me for a room I will enter in my future.
What room are you in? Broken marriage? Chronic pain? Depression? Unemployment? Or are you in a room that is brightly colored where you are so happy that you’re about to burst? No matter what your current room is like, I believe that God is allowing you the opportunity to pick up tools for rooms you’ll enter in the next phases of your life.
Josh is right. Doors will appear and you may well have multiple options. No matter what door you choose, you’ll have the tools you need.