Closing the door

Closing the door

I closed a door yesterday.

Well, to be truthful, I didn’t close the door. I sat by and watched while God closed it.

But the pain was the same.

I got an email from an organization I admire and respect. They were announcing that they had filled a leadership position; a position I thought might be right for me. But that was before the realization sunk in that although this is a great organization, with a great vision and purpose, the position was a job. I would be fulfilling someone else’s vision and not my own. It’d be great work…and work that I’m good at, but I’d be working on someone else’s dream.

And as you know, I’m not looking for a job.

Several weeks ago I called the owner and declined his invitation to pursue the position. It was tough to close that door. And in light of the email today, I realize I never really closed it. I just pulled it shut a bit. It was still open. I could still pretend that position was still a possibility, you know, if things on my own didn’t work out. Just in case you don’t know it yet…God’s not real big on escape clauses.

Getting the email yesterday about filling the position made it certain, slamming the door for good.

The lesson for me is this…closing the door is tough. But often when you make the decision to walk through one door you’ve got to close the others. And that can take more courage than walking through the open door.

I’ve known leaders before that lead like that. They keep all the possibilities open just as long as possible. They remain footloose and non-committed until the last possible moment. Their indecision  keeps everyone hanging unable to move forward.

What’s true of bad leadership of an organization is also true in leading your own life. You can’t keep all your doors open forever. At some point you’re going to have to “fish or cut bait.” You’ve got to make a choice.

So, yeah, it was painful to read that email. I won’t be vying for the leadership position with that organization. The door is closed. And while I wish the new guy all the best, I’m having a real gut check about the door I’ve chosen.

But in the end, I’m glad I’ve got my own door to walk through.

What about you? Do you have doors that need closing?

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