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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

The Open Door

The floor was cold on my bare feet as I softly tread from the living room into the bedroom pausing momentarily at the door to see if Brian was still sleeping, I did not wish to wake him.

I read this week that 2024 or 5784 as it is known in the Jewish Calendar (September to September) is the year of the “open door”.

That can be really great news or it could be really bad news depending on what and how your door is situated.

We go in and out of doors continuously throughout our day and we probably, if ever, think about the concept of the door. It can be open to let you in, closed to keep you out, locked to stay permanently shut. In my case I had effortlessly walked into the bedroom.

Did you ever think about this: the last door you walked through, what if it had not been there? Go ahead and give it a thought.

I had just walked into my bedroom and if that door had not been there, I could not access my bed, my clothes, Brian at that moment and even my bathroom. That whole area of the house would cease to exist as there is no other entry into the area, the door is a boundary.

As we end this year and walk into another one, are there things we need to close the door to? Are there opportunities that we need to open a door to?

There are other boundaries I go through all the time. Literally for me the BC/Alberta border is only minutes from my house. I drive over this invisible border countless times not giving it much thought. Oh, there is a sign welcoming me to Alberta on one side and to BC when I drive back the other way, but after seeing those numerous times, I tend to ignore them.

You know when I do not ignore that boundary? When the weather is bad. If we have had snow, or the horrible ice rain, I count the minutes until I reach the Alberta boundary. The reason? There is a marked difference in the road maintenance between the 2 provinces. Many times, I have to go slow once I get on the highway and say to myself: “just 5 minutes, just 5 minutes, hold on….” as I white knuckle that first 5 minutes over to Alberta.

For some reason, I can be slipping and sliding in BC or watch cars off in the ditch from ice or snow but when I hit the invisible Alberta boundary, the roads will be clear and maintained. Weird I know. Same road, same weather, same temperature but totally different driving and different road crews. Other days I simply whip along and cross over that invisible line and think nothing of crossing from one province to another.

What are other invisible boundaries? How about people’s personal property or land. You might have a fenced property but that fence only could go up after the land was surveyed to find out where those invisible boundaries are. Out here in the bush, some of the large parcels of land are fenced but others run into each other, yet most of us know which are our boundaries and which is not.

Like the open door, leaving the boundary open means that people and animals and things can pass through unhindered and that can be good or bad. I might be okay if a deer walks from my neighbor’s property onto my land but if it was their dog coming over to harass my chickens that would be a different story.

Walking through an open door, we rarely think about the ramification of stepping from one area to another, it’s effortless and we do it remotely, without thinking. Perhaps walking from one room to another is an illustration of being born or dying. For nine months we live in one environment surrounded by fluid, not knowing there is a whole other “world” on the other side. In the Bible, God says we can have eternal life, that means life without end. Could “passing away” be as simple as walking from one room to another? We have heard stories of people experiencing “life” on the other side immediately after leaving this world.

The year of the open door - a couple questions we can ask ourselves. If our door is open what are you allowing to come in or go out? Yourself, your family, your friends….your enemies. Wait…. No, we do not want our enemies to come in our open door, so what would we have to do? You could close the door, but then it would not be open and if it is the year of the open door – it is not closing. We would need to post a guard at the door to filter what can come in and what to keep out. We, personally, have cameras on our property to warn us when something or someone has crossed our boundary.

This is why I hinted that an open door could be good or bad.

I have had to think about what I let in or out and it is a huge question: I am responsible for my door. Thoughts, emotions, decisions, expectations, exercise, people, money, God, all of these are my responsibility to “govern” in my life by monitoring my door. There are times I let one of a bunch of these things try to “run” me instead of me taking charge and stewarding them instead.

It reminds me of the many passages in the Bible where the Israelites are trying to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem after their enemies had torn them down. There are mentions of “guards or watchmen” and other times they built with a weapon in one hand. I tend to dismiss these stories thinking, well those were desperate times, but not really. Being watchful and maintaining our doorways should be a daily exercise and unfortunately, I get lackadaisical because I do the same things over and over and similar to ignoring the Alberta/BC boundary signs, I operate on remote.

I need reminders constantly to get myself off my old track and into a new one. Post it notes, texting myself reminders, telling my friends to hold me accountable, all of these help. Why are these necessary?

“If you do the things, you have always done, you will get the same results you always get.” I know I can get discouraged because it does not look like things are changing, but is it that I am not changing instead?

It is the year of the open door – opportunities await. But you must close some things to begin new ones. If your plate is already full or your doorway is already crowded, how can something new come in? What are the things that are holding you back? Close the door.

What are the things that are unhealthy for you? Close the door.

What are your dreams and ambitions? Head towards those, hold loosely in case God wants to change it up a bit, but as I had a very smart fellow once tell me: I choose to untie the boat and head out, if God wants to change my direction, so be it, but He certainly cannot use a parked ship.

It is up to us, me and you if things in our world will change: Untie from the dock, that is something you have to do, a verb, an action word and step through, another action word, your open door. Let the adventure begin.

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Laurel Spilchen
Laurel Spilchen
Jan 03

The "Open Door" idea and the "Target Fixation" seem to go together for me.

I've been getting the sense that God wants me to let go of some things and walk into different and new things and ways of believing about these, which leads to action changes.

He wants to be my target fixation. I've been sensing him challenging my beliefs about him. What I just saw is that changing my beliefs will change my actions AND changing my actions will also show what beliefs need to change.

I had been thinking it was either/or but what I'm seeing now is both/and. They both are needed. They are both part of learning and growing.

The year of the open door.…

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