Can you get that door?
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. -1 Chronicles 16:24
I once heard of a couple who took a week-long trip to a resort where they were given accommodations in a pretty swanky hotel. The room was nice enough, but nothing all that impressive and frankly a little cramped, given the price tag. It had your standard sleeping area, a bathroom, and a small kitchenette with an icebox and microwave. In the corner of the room was a curtain, which they took to be decoration and didn't investigate. On the day before they were to go back home, the husband got curious and pulled back the curtain, revealing a door that opened into another space, about twice as large as the one they had used all week. There was a living room with a big-screen television, another half-bath, a full kitchen, and a dining area with a bay window overlooking the ocean. There was also a bottle of tepid champagne in a tub of melted ice, a vase of wilted flowers, a fruit basket with some now-elderly edibles, and a nice note welcoming them by name and wishing them an enjoyable stay.
They had missed out on the amenities that were available because they never opened the door. It wasn't that they didn't have an otherwise nice vacation; it's just that they could have experienced so much more. Sometimes I wonder if we don't do the same in our discipleship.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” -John 20:21
If I am following Jesus, I'll do what He did, which includes extending His love to others and inviting them into a saving relationship with Him. Sometimes I get stuck working on my own relationship to the point that I fail to look beyond myself, and I never find the door. Sometimes I imagine all the reasons others wouldn't be interested in discussing spiritual things and decide that initiating a conversation would just be too awkward and embarrassing, so I never open the door. Sometimes I start to engage the conversation, but give up on it when it doesn't seem to be along the lines of what I would consider "productive", and I never get past the threshold.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. -Acts 1:8 (NIV)
Realizing I have often exhibited all three of these reactions, I started praying for God to lead me past that point, specifically to introduce me to someone who needed to see Jesus in me. Then this happened: A call came in on the KLRC business line, not unlike the 20 or so other calls that come in throughout the course of a day. Except this one was from a gentleman who wanted some “spiritual advice”. Was God answering the prayer I had been praying?
We met for coffee the next day and I listened to his story. He has been down a difficult path, and he is now hungry to know Jesus in a deeper, more personal way. We visited for a couple hours, then scheduled a follow-up session. I don't know yet where the Spirit may be leading, but I'm leaving the door open!
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. -1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (NIV)