Have you ever considered the significance of a doorway? Doorways seem of little importance in our lives until we stop to ponder the number we have traveled through on any given day and the thousands traversed over a lifespan.
Doorways come in countless shapes, colors, and sizes. While some lead to new adventures others signal the end of an era. Doorways are insignificant until they aren’t.
All eyes are trained on the doorway when anticipating the delivery of news, good or bad, from the physician; we turn our attention to the doorway as we await the entrance of the bride and her procession into the sanctuary; the opening and closing of doorways on a train signal the beginning or ending of a journey.
Doorways Are Thresholds
Sometimes in life, we realize the significance of the doorway as we travel through, while other times, we realize its ponderosity much later. Doorways are thresholds.
Thresholds in history are easily discernible decades after they pass, yet at the time, the history makers are incapable of grasping the magnitude of the events he or she has set into motion.
And whether we consider ourselves history makers or not, each minor decision, like a doorway, leads to a new pathway, only accessible when we step beyond the threshold of our current imagined existence.
In Psalm twenty-three, David speaks of seasons in his life. He talks about the peaceful times by still waters, the restful times in green pastures, and the restoration each brought to his soul.
He also writes about the unknown stages of life, as he walks through the valley of the shadow of death. I imagine this valley as a threshold.
David leaves the comforts of the pasture for the shadows of the valley. Beyond this valley, the Lord spreads a table in the presence of his enemies. David, however, has no way of knowing this when he enters the threshold between the two.
David continues onward, fearing no evil, because the Lord, his shepherd, is right there with him, comforting the psalmist with his rod and staff. Ultimately, David knows that with the Lord as his guide, he will not want for anything.
Right now, you may find yourself or those around you standing at a personal or historical threshold in life’s path. Maybe you are pining for the pastures of the past and stepping through the doorway before you seems like descending into a valley of shadows.
Perchance, you linger in the threshold a little longer, as you grieve the loss of someone or something. Or maybe life finds you at a forced standstill, as you impatiently anticipate what lies beyond the next threshold, but someone or something impedes your step. Whatever your circumstance, let me encourage you to glean your strength for the journey from God’s Word.
His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Jesus promises that He will never leave or forsake us. Maybe for some of us, or all of us, it is time to forget those things which are behind, and reach forth to those things which are before. Let’s all join the Apostle Paul of Philippians 3:14 in saying, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
If you have never placed your faith in Jesus to be your personal Savior, He beckons to you in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
The Doorway Effect
And one last thing about doorways. Have you ever walked through a doorway into a new room only to completely forget why you entered the room in the first place? There’s a name for that— the Doorway Effect— and it’s quite a common phenomenon in human behavior!
University of Notre Dame Professor Gabriel Radvansky noted in a 2011 study that, “entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an event boundary in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away. Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.”
Doorways serve as a physical and mental threshold through which we move beyond our past to what lies before us. The next time you have a significant life event — the adoption or birth of a child, a graduation, wedding, relocation, or retirement — take a moment to revel in the significance of life’s thresholds. Offer praise to the Lord of doorways, paths, journeys, and destinations. Then carry on.
David concludes the twenty-third Psalm by declaring, “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Go ahead. Turn the handle. Step through the door. Our future is as bright as the promises of God!
- by Natalie Watkins