Monday, May 05, 2008

Road Closed

As I traveled to work this morning, I was less than thrilled to find a major road leading to the interstate closed. Some warning would have been appreciated. I felt trapped, as both the detour and the alternate way I chose were backed up to a stand still.

I was reminded of an interesting little book I read last week entitled Let Your Life Speak, by Quaker author Parker Palmer. I borrowed it from a friend and read it so quickly (on my way to work several mornings) that I didn't even stop to jot down any notes. Nevertheless one chapter came to mind this morning as I pondered my traffic options. It was called When Way Closes, and basically dealt with the idea that closed doors can be as much a guide and direction as are open doors, if we're paying attention.

When we were kids, growing up in the country, we'd often watch the neighbor's sheep at dinner time race down the hill. There was no shepherd, not even a dog to guide them. Instead they bumped along the path created by the fence, and were directed into whatever pasture the farmer wanted them to go by means of his closing certain gates. They were guided along the path by the closed gates.

Eventually I made it to work this morning, and did so with a new perspective, to pay attention to closed doors and detours as guides directing me forward along the path, rather than trip-ending obstacles.

How do you feel when a door closes or when you're faced with obstacles? Do they set you back or challenge you to move ahead?


Joan B. said...

I wish I had learned the powerful lesson of closed doors (and gates)much earlier in my life. They are to be celebrated, I think, as much as those doors that fling open in front of us and take our breath away. Thanks, Dianne, for another short posting that is long on thought.

Debbie said...

That sounds like an interesting book. (Although I'm wondering how you read it on the way to work!) :)

We are experiencing some closed doors right now, so this post is very good food for thought for me.

Sita Henderson said...

My friend, Cheryl, was right about you. Your thoughts and illustrations are clear and insightful. Your heart is for God. Thank you for sharing what He is teaching you.

gail@more than a song said...

I think I've heard for a long time now that closed doors can direct us as much as anything can be frustrating but it should still be a definite answer to go another way I think. Good post, I loved that about the sheep!
I was wondering too how you read that book on the way to work! But I forget that people in big places have more traffic so maybe more just sitting time in the car!

Katrina said...

Love this post, Dianne. Chad and I have been talking to Camden lately about "finding God's will" -- mostly because that kid is so full of questions! One thing we fall back on is that God has given us so much direction for daily living (how to treat others, how to work hard, how to speak) and much of finding God's will is moving forward in the things we know to do, and watching for open and closed doors as you go. While I would love for God to send me a Certified Letter complete with detailed instructions on what to do in the next week, month, year... I know I need to learn to watch the openings (and closings) that he's already placed in my path, and to accept them as his guidance.

Katrina said...

Oh, and I hope you were a passenger when you were reading it in the car! :)