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?
(Previously posted May 5, 2008 on my old blog site).