Read: “A Quiet Space to Find Refreshment,” Quiet Spaces: Prayer Interludes for Women, pages 19-43.

Social networks allow us to see thoughts and ideas that we might never encounter in our day-to-day lives. Once in a while, I’ll see a simple and direct message that knocks me for a loop. This particular message caught my eye and spoke to me: If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door. It’s a pretty obvious statement, right? And that’s what struck me. It’s so obvious, yet we miss its wisdom time and time again.

Once I rented a car during a business trip and arrived late at my hotel after a long, tiring drive. I parked, found my way to my room, and fell into bed. The next day, I led a seminar. When the seminar was done, I packed my things and headed for the parking garage. When I found my rental car, I clicked the unlock button on my key fob, but nothing happened. No blinking lights, no gentle beep to tell me that I had made contact. I tried again. And again. I inserted the key into the lock, thinking that the batteries were dead in the key fob. The key went in easily but wouldn’t turn. I kept at it, trying each door in turn. Nothing.

By now, it was getting late and I knew I would miss my flight to the next city if I didn’t get this car on the road soon. I tried again—clicking the key, trying the lock. Finally, in frustration, I trudged back to the elevator to the main desk of the hotel. As I rounded the corner of the of the lot, I saw it: a blue Ford, right outside the elevator doors. And then I remembered—I’d moved the car after I pulled into the original space because I’d seen that there was one closer to the elevator, and I had a lot of luggage and equipment to carry. If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door!

I do the same thing in my spiritual walk as well. I get an idea, usually something I really want, and I don’t have too much trouble convincing myself that it is something God wants me to do. So I head off in that direction, confident and pleased with myself. But then I’m brought up short by some kind of roadblock I hadn’t expected. I feel angry, thwarted, and annoyed. I try everything I can think of to force my way through, and when I can’t, I blame God. Finally, at the point when I’m ready to give up, God gently pushes me in the right direction. If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door!

I think we all want to do what God wants for us. But finding that path is really a matter of what I used to call “banging on doors.” When we don’t feel that we have a clear direction, we can start moving anyway. Too often, we plant ourselves and say, “Okay, God. Here I am.” And we wait for some divine hand to land in the small of our back with a divine push to get us going.

God works best with moving Christians—that is, Christians who are already in motion. When we come to a door that is closed and won’t open, we can find another door to bang on—and another and another—until suddenly the door opens, and we find ourselves exactly where we’re supposed to be doing exactly what God is calling us to do!

If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door! But when it does open, it’s your door. Walk through it boldly in the sure knowledge that God is with you.

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