My cousin, her fiancée, and their 3 kids came over to the house last Easter. Now, a typical family holiday for us usually means a bunch of us sitting around drinking Kool-Aid watching the younger kids play while Mama and my two aunts are in the kitchen cooking up a meal so good the aroma would make our mouths water while we were waiting. Yep . . . those were the days. Unfortunately, Mama and her sisters had to work last year, leaving the four of us to burn bread, buy pre-made cupcakes and boil water on our own!
We’d had a great time, even though it wasn’t Mama’s food. Later in the afternoon, we were sitting inside with friends when my cousins and the children decided to come back into the house from playing outside. Another friend, Chris, knocked on the door.
“Come in!” we screamed over the roar and yells of the kids.
The doorknob jiggled.
“Come in! It’s open!”
The knob jiggled again.
I walked from the kitchen to the living room and reached out to turn the knob. It wouldn’t budge.
Thinking that Chris was being his usual joking self, I yelled, “Stop playing, Chris, and open the door.”
The knob jiggled again. “I’m not holding it. I’m not playing, I promise.”
It was official, people. Our doorknob was broken.
We were shocked and couldn’t believe our knob could go from working to not-working in a manner of minutes. First, Ben tried to tackle it with his “I’m-a-man-and-I’m gon’-fix-this-door”-ism….no victory. Next, Chris man-handled the knob with his “If-I-fix-it-one-of these-Bowman-women-will think-I’m-fly-and-marry-me-on-the-spot”-ism… he left our home disappointed.
Needless to say, after the house was clear, Ann and I took the knob apart and rigged it until the maintenance men could come the next day. Yep, our door was rigged up, but at least we didn’t have to walk around our apartment to the back door to get into the house!
As we rode to church and back that night, Ann and I said aloud, “This cannot be a coincidence. Tell us what this is about, God . . . we know you have a sense of humor.”
Early the next morning, I kept hearing in my sleep, “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the DOOR will be opened to you.” I woke up hearing it, thinking that Ann was praying that loud.
Suddenly, a light bulb popped on in my head . . . I made a connection: My “asker-seeker-knocker” is broken.
See, had been having a hard time coming up with answers to the question Ken had asked about where do you see yourself in 5 years. I was disappointed with my lack of goals. I think I had become satisfied with the things that I know the answers to, so I am maintaining the open doors I already have. Because of my lack of faith to open new doors, I’ve been satisfied to spend my time and energy rigging up the doors I’ve already opened.
Really and truly, this isn’t about a door or a doorknob. It’s about faith. It doesn’t take faith to tell people what I already know, what I’ve already found, and what opportunities I’ve already had. I have nothing to ask, seek or knock about because I’m not looking for anything new. As I said: my “asker-seeker-knocker” needs repair.
I realize now that I’ve had my own answers and wasn’t looking for God’s. Well, I’m tired of living with the answers I already have, the treasures I’ve already found and the doors I’ve already opened. I require God and His answers, His treasures and His open doors. My heart has been crying out and repenting for my “idol worship” and at the same time rejoicing that on this journey called my life, His voice is the reminder that He is still God. Even if he speaks through a broken doorknob.
So here’s a Franciscan prayer I’ve come up with of my own:
May God bless me with questions I cannot answer, circumstances I cannot predict, and dreams and goals that seem impossible to me, so that, by faith, I may learn to ask, seek and pursue His grace and wisdom above all other sustenance.