Sliding Doors

One of the creepiest mistakes I ever made was getting off at the wrong subway stop, at the wrong time of day, while traveling by myself when I lived in New York City.  I was making my way from Upstate NY where my husband (then boyfriend) attended college, to my home closer to the city and we misjudged the time, putting me in Grand Central Station at about 11 p.m. that evening.  You know….the time that all the “crazies” come out.

A particular individual started following me and with every move I made, I found that he made the same.  I found myself seeking out families with children or couples who looked “safe” so that I could take some sort of refuge from my momentary lapse of judgement and hopefully make it home safely and alone.

Then there was the time that I was standing in Moscow, Russia, in the middle of Red Square talking with a guy who later became a friend, but at the time we had no idea if he was one of the good guys or bad guys.  In our eyes, it was exciting and adventurous for my three friends and myself to get into a cab, drive 40 minutes across Moscow, not speaking a lick of Russian, to visit our friend’s home.

I think back on my 22 year old self and shutter at the thought of how completely dumb that decision was but of course, everything turned out fine and in my mind’s eye, it was the adventure of a lifetime.  I’ve erased how that momentary decision could have negatively changed the course of everything.  Thank goodness it did not.

It’s interesting how those momentary decisions in life have the power to change the course of our journey forever isn’t it?  For the most part, my decisions have not resulted in bad things happening.  But, it just as easily could have gone the other way.

I remember the day I decided to follow Christ.  I was already a believer but  now I was willing to publicly step out and say it.  I was 17.  I went with a friend and her family to a Christian event and there was an alter call at the end of it.  I was raised Catholic so an event like this was a bit different for me but  something about it felt very natural.  It was one of those momentary decisions that changed my life.

I believe Christ calls us to be just as daring and challenging in our daily lives as He does loving and devoted.  He challenges me in so many ways.  The more serious I am about living my life for Him, the more I have a desire to see life as something to drink in, embrace, be spontaneous about….

I watched a great movie a long time ago called “Sliding Doors.”  I’ve never forgotten it. It stars Gwyneth Paltrow and the basic premise is of a girl that gets up in the morning to go on with her day. The movie literally splits into two mini-movies and in one, you see how her life turns out when she makes it through the sliding doors on the subway train car that she was hurrying to catch. The other shows you how life turns out when she doesn’t quite get through the closing doors on time.

This one will have you thinking about the consequences of many of the smaller events in your life, the role that fate has to play in your daily activities, and questioning you on that little thought of “what if I’d taken that different road vs. the one I took.”

How many times in our daily lives are we running late to something? our alarm clock doesn’t go off in time?  The auto accident up the road that just altered someone’s life, is also altering yours by making you sit in traffic?  Your car wouldn’t start, your baby spit up on your blouse on your way out the door to a meeting?  Your child just wouldn’t get going this morning, your new shoes gave you a serious blister on your foot so you stopped by a drugstore to get bandaids and you missed the washed out bridge….

We’re all alive today, to some degree, because the “unknown” momentary decisions we’ve made so far, have proven to be the right ones.  Whether we realized it at that moment or not.

When I’m in an elevator, or I go back in the house to answer the phone as it rings…perhaps this is where God wants me to be at this moment?   Maybe He’s protecting me from something I’ll never know existed?  is it possible that those sliding doors in my life are being watched over by a God who is always awake and watching over me?  I believe so.

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