Let me set the stage for you: It’s a beautiful Midwest morning in January with temperatures that are unusually high (above freezing) and the sun is shining. My wife and I met two of our friends for coffee at the local Starbucks to catch up on life. I get the new flat white (essentially a stronger espresso in a latte billed as a cappuccino with less foam) and my wife goes with one of her favorites, a green tea Frappuccino. We get our drinks, our friends get theirs and we sit down to enjoy great conversation over some delicious beverages. Then as we are getting more engaged in conversation, Mother Nature hits and I need to make a quick run to the facilities. I speed walk over to the restrooms (trying to waste as little time as possible, for more than one reason) and make my way to the door. When I approach the door, I turn the handle down with a bit of force to try and quickly open it, but it’s locked. I proceeded to wait outside of the bathroom door starting to get a bit impatient, I must admit. I knock on the door to try and encourage the gentleman to speed up the process, so I can take care of my business and return to my table. Then a few more minutes go by (what felt like an eternity but was probably about 5 minutes) and I decide that I’ll give the handle a jiggle and a good pull to make sure that this guy knows someone is waiting outside. When I jiggle the handle up and down and pull, the door flies open. Shocked, I cautiously glance into the doorway to ensure that this guy (that has been taking his sweet time) was not exposed for all to see but as I moved my gaze into the bathroom, I discovered to my amazement that it was unoccupied the whole time!
I think in life there are many times that we approach other “doors” the same way. We barely knock on the door or give the handle a gentle turn and when it doesn’t open we assume it’s in fact locked, that it’s not the door for us. Now don’t get me wrong, when it comes to opening bathroom doors there should be a good deal of caution involved because there is typically only room for one. No two doors are exactly alike. No two experiences or choices are the same. We must hold on to the wisdom from our past experiences but approach the new ones with a fresh perspective. So when you approach an experience or choice where you try to open the “door” and it doesn’t open on the first try, don’t assume that it’s occupied, that it’s not the right one for you. Make sure that you just didn’t turn the handle hard enough or the right way, because all to often we tend to give up too quick, and get left waiting outside to use a bathroom that is not even in use!