I like Mondays. I know, that’s strange. I really do though. It begins a time of new opportunities. What may be a typical day today could look completely different by Friday. It could look completely different tomorrow and depending on the choices I make, the course of my day could change at this very moment.
There are things taking place in our lives, mine and my husbands, that are changing our future. That can be said for any one of us on any day. Things take place each day that build your future. We have God-given dreams and desires and we are watching those things take shape and form. We are calling those things that we can’t see with our eyes as if they already exist. Technically they do because those things are in our hearts. We have written our dreams down and we talk about them. We pursue them. We make decisions based on whether or not they will fulfill those dreams in some aspect.
There are things bubbling to the surface that God put on our hearts years ago. He hasn’t forgotten but we did for a while. He’s reminding us. He’s making provision and guiding our steps towards those dreams. He is getting us back on the path that leads towards those dreams. I no longer want my life to be like a dashed scene from the Family Circus in the Sunday comics. I want my focus to be on Him and the goals I set out to accomplish in this life.
I am pursuing my writing career which is just a portion of what God has called us to do. It is part of the ministry He has put on our hearts. I began submitting pieces of my poetry in the fall of last year to a few different contests. I did this to overcome the words of the enemy that were constantly being whispered in my ear, “You aren’t a writer and you will never be an author.” The enemy is a fool.
I submitted three different poems to three different companies and one short story to one of those same companies, different contest obviously. I didn’t start small either. I didn’t find some obscure magazine to submit to. I picked the top of the line. I went for the big dogs. Ironically, the first poem I submitted was titled, “Catalyst”. It was my jumping off point. Anything going forward will be a piece of cake.
All three poems and the short story are non-winners and I am fantastically okay with that. Their purpose was to find a winner. My purpose was to submit and put my name out there and smirk at the devil. Everyone accomplished their goals.
Now that I have resolved the doubt and fear over letting others read my writing I can move to the next task at hand. I’m not stuck any more.
I have been reading a book, and listening to the accompanying CD’s that go with it, by Terri Savelle Foy called, “Imagine Big.” Somewhere in there she referred to a quote by a very successful business man and it stuck in my head. I can’t remember now who she was quoting but I’m going to paraphrase. It was along the lines of what our response should be when we are told, “No.” Our response should be, “Next!”
I grabbed a hold of that. I don’t like to hear people say, “Well, God must have shut that door,” when they try something once and it doesn’t work out. Really? You think God slammed a door in your face on something He’s put in your heart? Where’s the faith?
Jesus told Peter to walk on water. Peter tried. Peter went under. If God was closing that door He would have let Peter drown. Jesus came up and took Peter’s hand. Ah ha! Maybe if a door closed, or never opened, it’s because you weren’t walking with Jesus through it!
Maybe the person on the other side of the door isn’t walking with Jesus and that’s why the door closed. Either way, if God put a dream on your heart, pursue it. Desire it. Chase after it. Run like you have never run before. I keep picturing this Chinese game show my husband and I watch on YouTube where they have different obstacle courses to get through. One of the courses is a series of walls and in each wall there are three or four different doors. Only one of those doors in each series opens and they have no idea which one until they take a run at it. Very rarely do they choose the right door the first go at it. Typically, they take off running at what looks like a door and hit it and bounce back and fall to the ground.
It’s what they do next that determines their future.
They get back up.
They get back up and try again by running at a different door with the same goal in mind. They don’t stop and stare at the door they couldn’t get through, they move on to the next and never look back, without hesitation.
The full quote is by Alexander Graham Bell, “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 which has opened for us.” It’s that second half of the quote that people need to start including.
My answer to every closed door is, “Next!” I have goals. I will accomplish those goals. I have gone as far to start what I am calling, “My Next Book,” by printing off each piece of writing I submit and putting it in a binder. Behind that piece of writing is each rejection letter.
I am encouraging you to start your Next Book and do the same. Use it as fuel for what is in your heart to do.
What goals have you let doubt and fear keep you from pursuing? What can you do today to overcome those fears? Don’t give up just because a door closed and don’t waste your time staring at that door. Next!
John 15:16 (KJV)
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.