Important Disclaimer

Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Don't Let the Door Hit You...

Over lunch I re-read Matthew 6:6 and reflected on my art journal from this morning:

"Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret."

A wisp of memory came to me of Parker Palmer's book, Let Your Life Speak, brought to mind because of the reference to closing doors. It's a short book reflecting on vocation from the lens of his own experience. This piece in particular turns on a Quaker phrase: "Have faith, and way will open." Palmer tried meditating on that:
After a few months of deepening frustration, I took my troubles to an older Quaker woman well known for her thoughtfulness and candor. "Ruth," I said, "people keep telling me that 'way will open.' Well, I sit in the silence, I pray, I listen for my calling, but way is not opening. I've been trying to find my vocation for a long time, and I still don't have the foggiest idea of what I'm meant to do. Way may open for other people, but it's sure not opening for me." 
Ruth's reply was a model of Quaker plain-speaking. "I'm a birthright Friend," she said somberly, "and in sixty-plus years of living, way has never opened in front of me." She paused, and I started sinking into despair. Was this wise woman telling me that the Quaker concept of God's guidance was a hoax? 
Then she spoke again, this time with a grin. "But a lot of way has closed behind me, and that's had the same guiding effect."
So those of us who find ourselves sitting outside doors firmly closed to us, take heart. We are in good enough company, and at least if the door behind you is firmly shut, that's one less door to try.

6 comments:

  1. Well, that's a good point. Thanks Katie, Parker, and Ruth.

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  2. That is the truth, even if it's as hard as the door behind us.

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  3. I've learned a lot about that in recent years; it's fantastic advice. Also not to fixate on a particular currently-locked door.

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  4. My macular degeneration has closed some doors behind me and I am learning to live with that and turn from them to new ways. The new ways are sometimes hard ti find, but they are there. Thanks for the reminder and nice metaphor about the vagaries of life. : )
    Janet Bohren

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  5. Janet, you inspire me. Glad we have connected here and other places.

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  6. I think I'm going to get this Palmer book back out. Feels like the time is right....

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