FOOTSTEPS AND FINGERPRINTS
Doors are essential in our lives. But many doors that we use require a key to unlock them so we can open them. I try to remember to carry the key to my office door and the key to our home gate in my pocket at all times. When I forget, I feel somewhat disoriented.
Opening the doors in our lives also need keys. I remember when we were youngsters, Mom had us memorize this verse: Hearts like doors open with ease, To very, very little keys. And don’t forget that two of these Are “I thank you” and “if you please”. Whenever we forgot to say “please” when we wanted something, or forgot to say “thank you” when we received it, she would remind us with that short verse and make us repeat it until we had it memorized.
Joyce Rupp in her book “Open the Door” points out that many times when we are facing a difficult situation or challenge, we struggle with it, forgetting to use a key to open the door of the solution. What are some of these keys? Persistence, a willingness to listen to others, openness to change, courage to step outside our comfort zone, prayer.
From experience I have learned that pausing for a time to reflect on and process the situation, to sift out what is really important, and write down the pros and cons of actions being considered is another valuable key to unlocking the door to right decisions and actions. This pause can be for even as short as a minute or two, to as long as an hour, a day, or a week. Such pause allows our heart-anchored wisdom to come to the surface and become an important factor in our decision-making.
Being a member of a caring community is yet another key. Your caring community can be your family, a neighborhood coffee group, a parish study group, a charismatic community like the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, BCBP, Household Action Group. In such a group members lovingly support and encourage each other in their life journeys. They intercede in prayer for us, they encourage us to find and use our personal talents. As Rupp says, quoting D. Davies, “Insights into our own shadows are best gained in the company of others who lovingly offer us their vision from vantage points not blocked by the pillars of our own ego.”
Our lives are full of doors just waiting to be opened. Every moment is a door, each particle of life is a door. We just need to discover and use the right keys to open these doors. Where can we find these keys? In our hearts, in the forgotten learnings of past experiences, in our joys and sorrows, our blessings and our pain – all these contain one or more keys that can open the doors to better tomorrows.