Thursday, May 22, 2008

Way closing

I have been reading a book on discernment by Parker Palmer, a Quaker, called Let Your Life Speak.

I am doing this because a friend has asked me to be on her 'discernment team' and it is required reading by the diocese of RI.

I have gotten to a chapter that I am getting something out of. When Way Closes.

There is, evidently, a Quaker expression, 'way opens' when God means for you to go in a certain direction and the way opens before you. I have certainly had this happen in the past. It happened when I stumbled on Bell Street Chapel, my UU church. And again with Grace Church, my current, Episcopalian, church.

But the author says that there is another variation on this... when a door closes firmly behind you before the next door has opened.

This, too, is something I have experienced. I left Bell Street when I knew it was time to close that door, even though my next step was far from clear. I had no clue what denomination I was going to be. No clue what church I was going to join. No sense of direction at all.... except that the Unitarian Universalists were NOT it.

Lately I have felt way closing behind me and am totally unsure of the the way forward. I have basically stopped doing my kitchen tools business. I am thinking that sales is NOT my way. So far I haven't completely abandoned it... keeping my toe in the water just in case the inspiration hits me and I want to resume my business. But the truth is, I feel the door closing and it is a little scary because I don't have the next thing lined up. I have absolutely no idea, in fact, what the next thing might be.

Here's where I stand:

I love my church.
I love to play my drum.
I love teaching.
I love learning.
I need to make some money. (not too much...)

Lord, I am asking you to nudge me, ever so slightly, in the direction you wish for me to go.


stf (lorna) said...

nudge nudge - its what we all need isnt it?

recently God has either been closing a lot of doors or allowing it to happen -and it reminds me of Ps 139 where it says something like "you hem me in" ... sometimes it feels a bit awful others its reassuring. Like you - learning to trust him - and the decernment that goes with it is the key.

Rachel Nguyen said...

Yes, Lorna! The discernment part is really critical. Interestingly, I am on a friend's discernment team and we have our first meeting on Saturday. I wonder if helping someone else with the process will shake something loose for me!

In the mean time, I am trying to stay open to those nudges.

I pray that you will find your open door soon, too!


Mary Beth said...

Praying for the way to open ...
and love your new picture! such joy!

Deb said...

Well, just Wow.

As someone who has gone through a series of doors to the point I feel like Alice in "Through the Looking Glass" (Another @#$% DOOR??? LORD??? What are you DOING???)

SO thanks for the Way Closing reminder and I think I might just add me another book to my list.


Rachel Nguyen said...

Honestly, the book isn't that great. It is way over written, LOL.

But the idea of things closing behind us as nudges towards that which we don't yet perceive is very helpful.