I was jogging recently at a pretty snail-like pace, not really feeling it, when I came across a bare lot that had recently demolished the house that once resided there. All around it were lots with some fairly broken down places. It wasn’t felony flats, but it certainly wasn’t anywhere a real estate agent would purposefully drive by to show off the neighborhood.
Then the middle of the barren lot caught my eye and I actually stopped my run.
Someone had torn down everything else on the lot. Every weed, board, stick, broken glass, you name it.. except, a single red door.
I took its picture and ruminated about that door for the rest of my run.
How many times in life have I looked around at the fine mess my addiction and/or recklessness has caused and saw a stripped-to-the-dirt, empty-slate of a life that has so little left to show for it?
But each time, every time, I also found the equivalent of that red door. I found something I could reach out, turn the knob, walk through and start again.
I call it grace. The red door is grace. And its there waiting. Every time.
It may have seemed like a joke at the time. By opening the door to the same empty barren lot of a life what really changes?
As it turned out, everything. Walking through those doors of opportunity that life afforded me even at my worst has made all the difference.
Nearly five years ago, life literally picked me up and chucked me through the door of recovery that seemed more barren, hopeless and desolate than anything I’d ever known before. I couldn’t fathom a life without alcohol. I envisioned perpetual grief over the loss, a constant feeling of absence and withdrawal.
Instead, as that blessed five year anniversary fast approaches, I know it’s anything but. I went through that red door of grace into a room of seeming nothingness and found instead a life I never knew could exist that had been waiting there for me all along.
Those red doors are there. Right in front of you. No matter how bleak the surrounding area, look for it. And when you find it, turn the knob, pass through to the other side and though it may feel very much like the same old thing, believe it isn’t. Because you’ve taken a first step into a new life that has been waiting for you all along.