I am always glad to see an “open” sign. Doesn’t matter where or on what – if it is open, I am happy. This applies to my favorite restaurants and shops – I like to see that “open for business” sign in the window. I am disappointed when they are closed. This is especially true for the roads I travel. Nothing is more dreaded than the “road closed” sign. Nothing is more welcome than the “road open” sign on a road that had been closed. With all the road repair going on right now, there are a lot of roads closed at the moment, forcing me to find alternate routes to the places I need to be.
Anticipating “open” is something fun which brings my hope for the future into the present. There are “grand openings” of new businesses or buildings in a community, signaling the beginning of something perhaps long awaited. There’s the opening of a new movie or opening night at the theater, both usually highly anticipated and met with much fanfare. Openings are beginnings filled with hope, so much better than the closings which inevitably follow openings at some point.
Flowers open to the sun in the morning, welcoming the warmth and the new day. On special occasions, like birthdays and Christmas, we open presents. Opening is part of the fun, revealing the mystery of what lies inside of the package. When topics or subjects are open to discussion, whether interpersonally or in the public arena, it is much more likely that understanding and resolution might take place. We are often told to “keep an open mind.” Could that be because nothing penetrates a closed mind? – new information, new ideas, different perspectives, new ways of viewing things, understanding, empathy, new ways of doing things – an open mind is necessary to allow any of these things to be experienced.
Just as important, is an open heart. A closed heart lets no one in and feels nothing. That’s a sad way to go through life. An open heart will experience heartache but also joy along the way. An open heart will not be empty, because an open heart lets other people in.
We say of ourselves (or someone else) “my life is an open book.” This is meant to say that there is no deceit in us or in someone else, that we are not hiding anything, all is out in the open. I think I prefer an open book to a closed one full of subterfuge and secrets. Most of us prefer “getting it all out in the open” to the alternative of things being discussed and decided “behind closed doors.” We want the doors wide open, providing access for all.
I think I simply prefer open in general. Perhaps in the past I have taken open too much for granted. But after two plus years of “closed” – I now realize the true value of open – open schools, churches, businesses, gyms, restaurants, stores, salons, theaters, community centers, sporting events, homes – yes, even our homes were closed. Homes that had previously been open for barbeques, book club, backgammon, bridge, Bible study, anything and everything, were closed – leaving us isolated, alone and online – a substitute that did not suffice when all was said and done.
I definitely prefer an open invitation – no limits, no one is excluded, the door is always open, it never closes, the venue is never too full, the host never runs out of food or changes His mind about inviting me in the first place, His open invitation stands, He is ready to receive me, – all I have to do is to accept this open invitation and be willing to open a closed door – a door that I closed and only I can open – and I will be admitted to the party. Jesus has issued just such an invitation – an open invitation to one and all – an invitation that includes me and you, dear readers.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Gor My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
“Yet to all who received Him,” (accepted His open invitation) “to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God -” (John 1:12)
It is this open invitation from my Heavenly Father which leads me to an open life, lived out in the open, with freedom to come and go through an open door. Jesus said,
“I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your gracious open invitation to me. Give me the courage to open my heart and to open the door and invite You in.
sincerely, Grace Day