“It’s okay. I’m going to get you out of there,” I promised. “Just stand back against the wall so you don’t get hurt in the process.”
(BOOM) My foot connected with the solid wood of the door as several, small bystanders stood back and cheered, “You can do it, Miss Rebekah!”
(BOOM) Jared picked a… (BOOM) bad day to… (BOOM) be sick. (BOOM)
But I did it.
Even though my co-worker wasn’t there to help.
Even though it took me the better part of ten minutes.
Even though the door didn’t actually shatter beneath the weight of my blows.
Somehow I managed to jar that door just enough that the doorknob decided to become unstuck, and my student emerged from the bathroom of no return and into the arms of her sympathetic friends.
And just like that, I was a superhero, congratulated with high-fives and “I knew you could do its.”
I don’t typically feel like a superhero for trying to kick down doors.
In fact, it’s one of those habits that make me feel a little guilty. Sometimes a lot guilty.
So what’s the big difference between literal and figurative doors? Why is it not okay to kick the figurative ones down while it’s just fine and dandy to go all kung-fu on the real ones? Why, when they both lead to something I fully want to free?
I think it all comes down to permission from the boss.
When my student got locked in the bathroom, the first thing I did (after trying the lock on my own, of course) was call my boss. “Dave, what do I do?”
“Kick it in,” he said. “We need to replace that door anyway, so it doesn’t matter if you break it.”
Why does God never give me that permission?
Seriously. I’ll be standing at this door, jiggling the knob like, “Hello. I need to get in here. Hey God, do You mind?”
But He never tells me to kick it in. He just stands back and watches as I try to break it down and finally says, “Rebekah, what are you doing? Don’t you think I’d leave that door open if I meant for you to pass through?”
Oh. Um… I thought maybe You needed the reminder. This door was supposed to be open.
But it’s not.
It’s not because God knows better than you. It’s not because there are other doors a little ways down the hall that are just begging to be opened. Better doors that lead to greater opportunities.
And you miss them. You miss them when you’re kicking at doors that won’t budge beneath your weight. You miss them because you’re spending too much time jiggling a door handle that doesn’t twist when you flick your wrist.
You were never meant for walking through that door.
As much as it hurts to confess, that door wasn’t made for you.
And I know this isn’t what you want to hear right now, but there is something better waiting.
There’s a door you won’t have to force because it was made for swinging open at the faintest touch. But you can’t open a door that God has purposed to close. It’s simply not possible, no matter how long and how hard you kick at it.
So maybe it’s time to stop fighting. Maybe it’s time to pack up and move on. Maybe it’s time to find the door that has always been waiting, ready to be opened by the one who would surrender to the call of her God.