I was at Starbucks the other day and when I went to use the bathroom I came across a familiar sinking feeling right before I opened the door. You see Starbucks has what I call “one seater” bathrooms. This means it was designed for only one person to use at a time and the door doesn’t have that little window that says “Occupied” or “Vacant” in it. Therefore you are blind to what lies behind that door and sets up a very real Russian Roulette type of possibility that someone could have, in their haste of entering the bathroom, forgotten to lock the door.
Perhaps I’m alone in this, but I think this could be the most awkward moment in a person’s life topped only by calling someone pregnant that is not. When that door whips open you are greeted by the “crouching tiger, hidden fig leaf” position, the “I’m Going To Swear At You Because You Clearly Are The One That Didn’t Lock The Door For Me” response, the “Ever heard of knocking?” zinger, or the classic “Excuuuuusssseeee meeeee” (insert slightly snobby, southern girl voice). Either way, the damage has been done and I now have two options:
- Wait for them to be done and endure the weird interaction I’m guaranteed to have as I sip my coffee and try to erase what I saw out of my mind of that guy sitting on the comfy leather chair just to my right sipping a strawberry frappaccino with extra whip.
- Decide I didn’t have to go that bad, get a Urinary Tract Infection, and then deal with heavy antibiotics for 6 weeks to recover all to avoid having that awkward interaction with the strawberry frappaccino guy.
Here’s what I know about most of us when it comes to dealing with things that lurk behind doors in our life. We would rather walk away and get a spiritual Urinary Tract Infection than deal with what is on the other side of those doors. The thought of having to open doors up in our life and seeing those awkward mistakes we’ve made or sin we committed is just too much to handle.
We’d rather roll along in life pretending they don’t exist and walk toppled over in pain because we can’t get relief. Sin always will do that to us and I know it does for me too. I’ve seen in my life where I have not dealt with things hoping they will go away only to see them keep me up at night, ruin my attitude, cloud my judgement, and make me do things I never would have dreamed I would do. It is only when I whip open the door and deal with mess that lies behind it by giving it to Christ that I become the man God want’s me to be.
This only happens when the door is flung open and the light is allowed in.
Paul tell us in Ephesians 5:13-14
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.””
This desire for light to shine on you may even spill over into the people you are keeping in your life behind closed doors. Those relationships, friends, or acquaintances that are keeping you from living a life free of guilt and full of light. These also need to be dealt with and removed if we want relief in our life.
Again Paul speaks to this as well in 2 Corinthians 6:14 when he says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
Don’t get me wrong Jesus wants us to be salt and light in this dark world, but He doesn’t want us to be locked in a bathroom with the darkness. When that happens I’ve seen people drug down a road they never dreamed and pulled farther from Him even if they started with great intentions. Rather, it’s in our pursuit of Christ that we bring people alongside us in our journey that we see God’s impact at work.
So my encouragement to you isn’t to start whipping open every bathroom door you come to in your travels. That will end you up in a whole different type of prison and not the spiritual kind.
What I do hope is that we aren’t scared to open the doors in our life that we have past mistakes or sin behind. God is there to redeem those situations, forgive you through Jesus, and allow you to walk tall in the freedom only He can provide. He will meet you in those moments, but you have to grab the handle and push.
I know you can do it so get to work!