I have this thing about answering the door. I usually ignore it, and I’m usually right about not answering. Here’s how it goes: The doorbell rings, or there’s a knock on the door. My heart rate quickens and I scurry for cover if I’m not already in the back of the house. After a few moments that feel like hours and the stranger on the other side make knock or ring again. I’ve done this before; I can wait them out. Eventually, they leave, and I peek out the side window and see someone who wanted to sell me something walking away. I sigh with relief and get on with my day.
But there’ve been a few times that I regretted not opening the door. The worst was the time I was ironing in the laundry room, frantically packing for a business trip the next day. I ignored the bell and wished the caller away. Later I found out it’d been my father who stopped by to wish me well on my trip. We didn’t live close to each other, so he really had gone out of his way to see me. He passed away a few years later. Dad and I shared many great moments together, and I’m inclined to focus on those, but every now and then I look back and regret that time I was so caught up in my cloud that I didn’t take the risk of answering the door.
Just minutes after my daughter left for school yesterday, the doorbell rang. I thought she might have forgotten something, but instead I glimpsed a man I didn’t recognize. I asked my husband if he was expecting anyone. He wasn’t. I was still in my robe, so I flirted with not answering. I can’t say what convinced me to open the door, but I was immediately glad I did. I recognized our caller as our firewood guy, who happened to be in the neighborhood and thought he’d stop by to see if we needed some. We did; he filled the order.
Yes, he was trying to sell me something, but it was something I wanted: an item that carries with it the sweet anticipation of cozy nights by the hearth, or laughing with friends around the fire pit out back. On a day that would hit nearly 100 degrees, his thoughtfulness brought with it the promise of a new season. That row of neatly stacked wood brings a smile to my lips and joy to my heart. And I came this close to shutting out that bit of happiness!
So, let’s pay attention to the ways we might be denying ourselves potential joy, and look for the doors we can tap on to bring some to another. When have you been delightfully surprised, or surprised someone else? Let’s notice together the blessings in life, because when we do, marvelous things happen. Let’s live Everyday Inspired!