Mid South Youth Camp was my home away from home for 4 straight summers during college. There were 6 guys and 7 gals serving as counselors at the camp each week. We each had our own cabin we dealt with, and a different group of kids came in each and every week.
The counselors had a special place to “live” which was located on a screened-in porch. Each of these porches was the main entryway into the cabin. The only way into the cabin was a wooden screened door.
Each and every week, my first rule when I shared the cabin rules on Sunday night was this: DO NOT LET THE DOOR SLAM WHEN YOU ENTER AND EXIT. I know it sounds silly, but spend 9 weeks in a row listening to a door slam next to your face, and you’d make it a rule too!
Its a simple rule, but hard to to follow for 8-18 year old guys. So, needless to say, I would constantly hear the door slam as the guys would come and go. The boys would run out of the cabin in a rush, and about 4 seconds later – WHAM!! Pictures would fall off the wall of the porch, my ears would ring for a few seconds, and this happened countless times each day.
This rule, when broken, had consequences. If you let the door slam, you had to come back, open and shut the door gently and quietly 20 times. It was great fun watching these guys run out, forgetting the rule, hearing it slam, and hanging their head as they had to come back to open and shut the door 20 times quietly.
I hated that sound. I never could understand why they couldn’t grasp the idea of not letting the door slam.
You know what else I don’t understand? Why does it seem like God allows doors to slam in our face as well? Have you ever felt like God opened up a door for you to walk through, only to have it slammed in your face? A wonderful opportunity comes up, everything looks awesome, and WHAM!!! The door is slammed in your face.
Why does this happen? Could it be that maybe we conjure up our own idea of what God’s will should be, and when it doesn’t happen we are disappointed? Maybe upset?
What I’ve learned is that when we feel like God slams a door in our face – He calls us back to assess the situation, and as we look back, we realize that God has put us where we need to be instead of where we want to be. If we let Him, God will lead us where HE wants us to go, and will keep us out of the places we need to pass by.
Today – maybe we should praise God for slamming doors.
(I wrote this “article” for the church bulletin in Ashland City, TN, where I had my first Youth Ministry job. It was printed on April 18, 2004. My mom found a copy of it in a closet at home with some old pictures.)