I have absolutely no idea how my high school friends and I figured it out. Maybe we were driving along one day and it randomly happened. Or maybe we were trying out an urban legend.
Whether it was on purpose or not, somehow we discovered that we could make the garage door of a little house, down a little side street of our community, go up. All we had to do was push the garage door opener attached to the visor in my (my parents’) car.
You can imagine the fun we had with this. The house was on route to Burger King, and since my friend Bob always had free fries coupons (his dad was the manager), Burger King is where we liked to go. And if I happened to be the designated driver for the day, we would hit the button as we drove by, watch the door start to go up, and howl in laughter all the way to Burger King.
On our return trip, the door was always back down. So naturally, we opened it again. Yeah, we were the group known for our maturity.
I have no idea who lived in this house, but I’m sure they weren’t having as much fun as we were with the repeatedly lifting garage door. We probably caused bewilderment at best; or agitated frustration at worst. I’m just glad there was never anybody posted outside the garage with a gun.
Sometimes, in life, doors randomly go up. You glance over and the door is open. You don’t know how it opened or who opened it, but there it is. An open space for you to walk through.
A friend of mine recently told me that she is somewhat bewildered by the way college students, one after another, have come to her and said, “I’d like to hang out with your family more. I feel like I belong at your house in a way that I’ve never belonged anywhere else. Can I move in for a few months?”
I have another friend who is somewhat bewildered by the way people share their burdens with him. One guy sends him an email and says, “I know I told you I was doing well this morning, but I’m not. I’m dying inside, and I’ve got to tell someone.” Another guy stops in his office and says, “I want to tell you about this sin that I’ve kept hidden since I was a kid.”
In both cases, doors keep opening and opening and opening. And my friends might be tempted to believe that they’ve learned the art of opening doors. Or they could get irritated because they really just wanted to stay behind their own closed door and relax.
But the truth is, if a door opens, it’s not random. It didn’t open because you happened to be in the right place at the right time. Or because you have a magical connection or unique raw talent.
Doors don’t just open on their own. If you look at the long line of closed doors, you’ll notice that most of them don’t open. They stay closed. Except, of course, when God decides to open them.
If you, like the poor people who happened to live in that little house on the way to Burger King, keep looking up and saying, “Huh. The door’s open again…”, remember that doors don’t open on their own.
Get on your knees and find out Who might be opening them. Ask Him what He wants you to do about it.
PS. If you happen to be the person I terrorized on my way to BK, please accept my sincere apology. I don’t know what we were thinking, other than that we weren’t thinking. And you may find it consoling to know that for years, my parents have been praying that it would all come back to haunt me when I’m the one handing my keys to a teen. (Which is why I’m thinking maybe I wont.)