I stumbled on this quote from Alexander Graham Bell. “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” One of my friends responded to the quote with this observation. “I know it is true when one door closes another opens. It is the time in the dark hallway that gets to me.”
I imagine most of us resonate with the pain he is describing. When I was younger, I was of a mind that when a door closed another one would open instantaneously. And in some cases, that actually happened! But the dark hallways tend to be the norm…
I don’t like dark hallways. I never have. When trying to navigate such a passageway, I am just a little bit fearful of what might jump out at me. I know…that’s ridiculous. But it seems perfectly plausible, when creeping through an unlit hallway. I am afraid of what I might step on! And if I am in a strange place, I have no idea where the hallway ends or where it might lead! And to top it all off, the boogie man occupies that space.
How DO we navigate dark hallways, as we patiently await the next door to open. I am not the final authority by any stretch of the imagination, but here are a few navigation skills I have learned over the years.
· It’s a time to seek out those who really care. Friends are a lifeline. I have had friends throw me a life-saving rope more than once over the past several years. And in some cases, they didn’t even know they were doing it. They were just being themselves. But you HAVE to seek them out. Allow friends to walk in the darkness with you.
· Open doors are not always easy to recognize. A door opens…And the light shines in the hallway. Relief! But sometimes our hearts have a difficult time adjusting to the light. We end up failing to recognize the open door. Sometimes that occurs because it is not the door we thought would open! Be alert. Pay attention to all openings. Be surprised.
· Don’t look back. Being consumed in regret is destructive. Looking back in a dark hallway can be compared to looking down from a scary height. Nothing good comes from that. Keep walking even when the darkness is overwhelming. Don’t stop.
· Just for today…That’s a phrase borrowed from 12 step programs. Take it a day at a time. Tackle the journey down the dark passageway today. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own…
· God is present. God’s presence does not always feels evident as we wait for the next door to open. In looking back on my life, His presence was ongoing reality during such times.