One of my favorite writers, Russell Bishop, posted an excellent article this week on The Huffington Post, called Soul Talk: What Happens When God Closes a Door? His article is of course based on the old adage, “When God closes a door he opens a window.” Russell took this classic concept one step farther and said that this old adage is wrong: that God doesn’t just “merely open a window, He actually opens a universe.”
It is an interesting perspective indeed, however, like most things, God doesn’t do room service; you still have to go out and find this new “universe.” And it doesn’t end with this quest. Not only do you have to go looking for it, but when you find it, you have to be perceptive enough to see it.
The recession caused people to think outside of the box when it came to employment, and by default, three years ago I became one of those people. I left college after the autumn the banks collapsed. I almost got a job writing for a well-known animal rights organization but didn’t make the cut. After that I didn’t know what to do. I could not find any work that paid well or any work that I even liked. The jobs I did get made me feel like an outsider, it was middle school all over again, I was an artist in a class full of jocks.
So what was this lonely artist to do? I stayed up all night painting and making jewelry. I barely got enough sleep to function at my day job. It got to the point where I really didn’t care anymore. The jewelry and art began to sell, so I eagerly quit my day job. Of course that didn’t last forever and I was forced again to explore and push my boundaries in order to find some new options.
A few weeks ago, Target was having a sale on shoes. I had my eyes on a particular pair of red pumps for a while now but hadn’t worked up the nerve to buy them. Good thing because now they were on sale. I went to the local Target and looked for my size. Of course, they had every size but mine. I was pretty disappointed but soon found consolation when a cute pair of boots caught my eye. I walked over to the boot section but after close inspection found that they didn’t have my size in those either. I left the store defeated. A few days later, I went to a Target in a different city. To my disappointment, it was the same thing all over again. There weren’t any 7 1/2’s left in the heels or boots I wanted. I was about to walk away, but then a thought occurred to me. There must be a 7 1/2 somewhere and I’m not leaving ’til I find it.
One at a time, I took a box of red heels off the shelf, opened it, and checked the official size stamped on the actual shoe. Eventually, I found a 7 1/2 hidden in a shoe box that was labeled size 9 1/2. Victory was mine at last! Since I was on such a roll, I decided to check to see if they also had a pair of size 7 1/2 in the boots I wanted. It was the same thing all over again. No 7 1/2’s left, but sure enough after going through enough shoe boxes, I was able to find another misplaced pair.
Even though I am talking about shoes, this concept can be applied to any area of life. If you are working tirelessly towards something and keep encountering road blocks, you have to start thinking outside of the shoe box. In reality, you only have two choices: you can give up or try to find another way. I hope that you will always be strong enough to choose the latter.