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 that has opened for us.
– Alexander Graham Bell
I have heard this adage all of my life – when one door closes, another one opens – or an alternative – when God closes a door, He opens a window. I have heard it said from friends, relatives, and characters on television shows. But do I really believe it? Do we, as humans, believe it? I like think so, with a large number of us optimists, or at least hopeful for the future. But I have never heard the rest of the quote by Mr. Bell. And that second part is far more powerful and meaningful than the over-used adage.
We all spend too much time looking back – we look back in regret, in longing for times gone by, in feeling the pain from long-ago wounds, and in the joy that once was ours. Looking back is good – it always pays to see where we’ve come from. The danger is in looking too long, so long that we forget to live for the future or even today. The danger is in looking so longingly at that closed door, as Mr. Bell tells us, that we forget the future.
Of course I have to interject with a Harry Potter reference (for those of you who don’t know, both the Harry Potter books and the movies are extreme favorites of mine and have been read and seen by me multiple times) – in the first book/movie, Harry discovers the Mirror of Erised and he finds he is drawn by its power to show him what he most desires. He spends much of his spare time in front of it, so much so that Dumbledore tells him that it will be moved somewhere else in the castle and not to go looking for it. “This mirror gives us neither wisdom nor truth…” I bring this up because like Harry, we can spend too much time gazing into the past hoping for a different outcome of the now.
The only way to keep from wasting away in front of the Mirror is to purposely turn our face/mind/heart away and set it toward the now and the future because that is where life is and where life is going. Few, if any of us, have a Dumbledore character in our lives; but we do have God and if we chose to reach out to Him, He will reach back and bring us gently along the path of our choosing, using every opportunity to bring us closer to Himself.
Turn away, but turn wisely.
Turn away, and turn with regrets washed away in understanding and love.
Turn away, but turn toward the now and the future.
Turn away, remembering the Love that sustains you Always.