Tuesday, July 12, 2011

When the Door Slams Shut

My Dad has this annoying little ditty/song he sings around the house.

It goes
"be careful what you pray for"... *dramatic pause* ...."cos you might just get it."  *some sinister boom boom booms*

And I think there's more but that's the only bit I remember.

I have a feeling it's from the old Gospel glory days in the 80s.  My parents became Christians then and every now and then it shows. ;)

It's annoying because of the way he sings it, not because he's singing it at me.  It's a catchy tune, but when I go to pray I've usually forgotten it.  

I believe that God hears and answers every single one of my prayers.  I'd have to be pretty dense and thick-headed not to believe it when I see it happen.

I'm not saying I pray for rain and it instantly falls from the sky.  Or I pray for my greens to be turned into ice cream and this little divine act happens on the plate.  (God preserves my teeth - see, no cavities.)

No, I'm still learning how to pray (that's one of my prayers.  'Teach me how to pray effectively, God!'  Is that oxymoron-ish?)

In other words, it's a bit of a journey.  BUT never. stop. talking. to. God. Mouse.

Yes, I know how you feel little red man.
One of my favourite things to pray about are doors.  Opening and closing them, to be specific.  Figurative doors.

I suppose my life is like a hallway with lots of closed doors.  And I'm walking skipping along looking for a good door to open up and dive into.

But what if I choose the wrong door?  Eek, I might open the door that leads to a career in garbage truck driving or tele-marketing.
Or maybe the door that leads to... Okay that was a little bit too abstract, was it?
Let's hang with that example for a minute more.  Promise I won't go crazy with it.

The truth is, in this hallway of doors which I'm skipping down, I want to go through the RIGHT doors.  So I pray, 'God, in this situation, would you open the right doors for me and close the wrong ones?'  Because I trust Him to know exactly what and where and how it should all happen.

That one on the left looks pretty good.

So another day in the offices of heaven and the Mouse's prayers are answered.  Opportunities come up, opportunities disappear.

And sometimes the door slams shut just as I'm about to skip through.  Right in my face.  Almost there but didn't make it.  It feels like this time I was skipping so fast I hit that door which was open and is now suddenly closed, and got a sore nose and bruised rear for my troubles.


I've been planning this trip to Perth all year.  It wasn't even a - lie on the beach every day and use an entire bottle of sunscreen - kind of holiday.  I was going to be teaching children about life and God and why some things happen, and what the Bible says about it.  Great stuff.  Throw in a few songs, crafts and games and you have one whole week of fun and learning.

My ticket was booked, relatives informed, invites turned down, camera primed, accommodation organised, and suitcase open on the floor.  Granted my ticket was cancelled when Tiger Airways were put in the naughty corner, but new tickets can be found in times like these.

I had just come home from shopping for some practical black shoes to wear since I'd be working with children (see, I know what I'm doing).  Mum says "Looks like your not going after all."

After all means, 'after all the planning, ticket cancellations, and positive phone calls.'

After all means after I had prayed, 'God, with this Perth thing (and the tickets being cancelled) could you open the door if I'm meant to be there... and close it if I'm not.

So, is this the end of the story?  The Mouse sulkily putting her suitcase away and waving goodbye to the rest of the Perth team?  The Mouse rubbing her sore nose and putting impractical cute shoes under her bed?


There are more doors...  And this just makes me want to pray even harder and make sure it's all going the way God's planned.  Because I know His plans are best.

So I dare you.  Pray about those doors.

Image credits (thanks guys!):

Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: nattavut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. A door has two sides.

    One Hand shuts it.

    But we never stop praying about those doors.

    Even on different sides of them.

  2. If it's any consolation (which it's probably not unless you share my morbid sense of humour) things haven't gone as planned for those of us who are still going either. Our door may still be open, but you might say we've found that the door ends up going to a different place then we first thought.

    Still hope that there will be a 'next time' for you.

  3. Ouch. I will refrain from saying "poor, poor Mouse" because that wouldn't be helpful at this time, would it?

    It is painful to have something "slammed in your face".

    If you can get through the temptation stage of whining, sulking and complaining then God seems to always have a better plan on the other side.

    Thanks for the great reminder to keep praying even through the pain.

    Can't wait to hear about the doors that have opened (and stayed open long enough for you to get through...)

  4. Thanks everyone, you are awesome.

    @Amelia. I think I'll print that out and stick it on my wall, you say it perfectly.

    @eccentric. I think I know who you are, and I think I know what you mean when you say things haven't gone as planned for you either. I had chats with Mrs H today. As they say, you're never safe from shocks until you're dead, or something like that. (How's that for morbid humour! sorry!)

    @ Rach. Somehow saying 'poor, poor Mouse' cheers me up because it sounds cute. :) And thanks for reminding me about the other side!

  5. I remember thinking the exact same thing not too long ago; and the visuals were so strong I even mocked up a painting to paint about it (uh yeah, but didn't actually *do* it... but its the thought that counts! and the picture is burnt on my brain). But now, as I look back, I really do see God's faithfulness in guiding me past the wrong doors and through the right doors.
    I have no doubt that the corridor stretches as long as my life, and there will always be doors slamming or locked or broken - and the other sort; opening before I touch them, swinging without a sound, the promise that He will be with me no matter how scary the door appears.
    Aaaah ... we serve a great God!

  6. I read this this morning and thought of you:
    "God is my Father, He loves me, I shall never think of anything He will forget, why should I worry?
    There are times, says Jesus, when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but trust Him. God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural Father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not... Nothing happens in any particular unless God's will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him." (Oswald Chambers)

  7. @ meinfiji I just realised that my comment didn't get posted for some strange reason. I wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to share that with me. Another thing which I have stuck on my wall :)
    If you ever did get that picture onto canvas (or whatever takes you fancy) I would LOVE to see it!!!


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