Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Pig's Playpen

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.  ~ Alexander Graham Bell

We've all heard the first part of that quote.  We may have even said it to someone going through a difficult time.   To me, the first part of the quote points to faith - faith that God will move us on from our present situation and that we won't be stuck "here" forever.  And I do believe that.  I believe that an open door is there.  I just have to have eyes to see it.

The second part of the quote requires work on our part.  We have to be able to focus and see through the fog that hellish trials leave us in.  We have to take our eyes off of ourselves and our "now" closed doors, to look ahead at the future  - to the somewhere, where a door is open.

When I was a child, wallowing became one of my coping mechanisms.  No one in the family seemed to empathize with what I was going through so, for days and weeks I would stare at "the closed door" in my life. It was my way of caring for myself; but truthfully, it was like I was stuck knee-deep in mud.  As a new bride, I would tell my husband, "Leave me alone, I want to wallow."  Can you imagine that I actually would say that to him, as he would try to help me see an "open door" in the midst of our trial? 

And my wallowing would go on and on and on until I finally got sick and tired of being STUCK in my circumstances.  And out of the fog I would come.

When I met Jesus, I was quickly convicted that He did not want me to wallow.  So, I worked long and hard - through infernal circumstances - to overcome this particular character flaw - to think positive and look ahead; to search for that newly opened door. But, I must admit: once in a while, I seem to revert back to the old comfort zone. Sometimes, it's major work on my part - more work than I sometimes feel I have the strength for.  So, I cry out to my Heavenly Father for His strength and vision to find the new open door. Experience is the greatest teacher and I have learned there is DANGER in wallowing. The longer you look at self and your circumstance, the longer that circumstance has control over you; and sometimes, the longer the trial goes on. I can cry out to God to get me through; I can cry out for new doors to open, but if my eyes are still on the closed door, that muck and mire will hold onto me like mud to a pig.  And I've been stuck in the pig's playpen way too many times in my life.  So, I search for the open doors and pray for the strength to walk through them.

I watched the movie Soul Surfer - the true story about a teenage girl whose arm was completely bitten off by a shark while surfing.  She went on to become a champion surfer.  For sure she was not a wallow-er!  I envy that it came so easy to her to just move on in life.  She didn't allow her circumstance to control or dictate her future. For some, finding the open door is easy, it's in their nature to look beyond their moment.  For some - like me - finding the open door requires a tenacity that we might not naturally have, but God will certainly grace us with if we ask.

I sure hope you cannot relate to this post, but if you can, please share.

Because of Him and Unto Him


Anonymous said...

Hi, I have just recently discovered your blog. Thank you for many wonderful insights. I can relate, a term I have also heard used is "sitting on the pity pot". You are right on when you say the second part of the quote is the work we must do. For me I have been for too long staring at that closed door and stagnating in life. Not doing my part to open a new one. I sometimes even know what I need to do, but the mud seems so warm and familiar. As my brother has told me one must work thru the "scare", the pain. The other side can be very rewarding. I was about to write, today I will do just one thing. But I must be truthful, so I will pray for the strength to do so.

Diane said...

Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I know exactly how you feel and about staring at closed doors. God will answer your prayer for strength.

Your brother is right about working through the "scare" and pain. It is something we must do. Please know you are not alone. For whatever it is worth, I will be praying for you.

You can do it, one step at a time. Please keep in touch.

wordglow said...

I love the quote from Bell... I was just finishing one of those books by Veronica Heley that I reviewed recently, and found something similar. Her character was praying for someone and made this interesting observation, "One door opens as another one closes. Sometimes God closes one door before He opens another. That's to make sure that you know which direction you ought to be going in..." I like that. Keeping our eyes on where he is leading...

Diane said...

Wow! That was great, Pam. Wisdom straight from our Father's Heart. Thanks for sharing it.