(May 11, 2018) You know the old quote, “When a door closes, somewhere a window opens.” That’s always seemed like a hopeful, yet passive, outlook on the future. Maybe when the door closes, you have to find the window and open it yourself. That’s been my experience.
I was sitting at lunch the other day shamelessly eavesdropping on a conversation. It seems like the man and woman at the next table were renovating a house together. The woman was talking about spending her entire morning trying to open a window that had been painted shut. She didn’t succeed leaving her to say to the man, “Maybe it wasn’t meant to open,” to which the man replied, “It’s a window, Maggie. It was meant to open.”
That got me thinking about my favorite movie, The Sound of Music, when the Mother Superior says, “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” This is, of course, the most perfect movie ever made, so I won’t argue with that quote, but I think even God would tell you if the window isn’t open, open it yourself. If He hasn’t opened the window you want opened, find the right one and open it yourself. It’s not magic. When something doesn’t work out, figure out how to make it work another way. Even the Mother Superior told Maria, “You’ve got to look for your life.” You know Mother Superior wasn’t waiting for God or anyone else to open a window. That woman was breaking her own windows.
Of course, the worst thing you can do is fixate so much on the door that was closed that you are ignoring all of the windows. Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” That is an absolute in this argument. Whether the windows are opened or closed, you’ve got to turn away from that closed door quickly.
I’ve had a lot of doors closed in my face. I used to look longingly at them for awhile. I don’t do that anymore. For every door that has been closed on me, I’ve always ended up in a better place. ALWAYS. But, not because it magically happened, but because I left the closed door in my dust and busted through some windows.
I’ve worked in sports my entire career. When I was just starting out, I was like Maggie every day trying to open those stupid painted-shut windows. It was not easy. Believe me, there were no open windows. But, I figured out a way to open the windows. It took time and effort, but I persisted. In honesty, sometimes you just have to break the window and leave it for someone to replace or better yet, hope that they leave it open. It’s not always pretty.
After working my entire career in the Midwest, I took a risk and moved to California five years ago for a job. The door was quickly closed in my face. The window was open to return to the Midwest. That’s not the window I wanted though. I wanted to stay in California. All those windows were painted tightly shut. It took a lot to open the windows. The odds were against me, but I opened every single one of those old windows, and now, five years later, I’m living in Santa Barbara looking out this window every morning as I work. And, I did it by myself. It’s nice to have help, but you don’t need it. You can open the windows by yourself.
Maybe the quote we should be paying the most attention to is from our Friday Night Lights friend Kyle Chandler who said, “Opportunity doesn’t knock. It presents itself when you knock down the door.”
Go find some doors and windows today, my friends. And, if they’re not open, break them down. They’re meant to be opened.
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