“Fling wide the gates, open the ancient doors, and the great king will come in. Who is the great king? The Lord Almighty—he is the great king!” Psalm 24: 9-10
What ancient doors do we have to open? Anything that keeps our hearts closed to God’s presence in our lives. If you’re like me, fear’s a likely culprit.
I don’t think it’s an accident that the doors are described as ancient. Some of our fears go back to early childhood. Incidents may impact our lives in powerful ways—even if we don’t remember them. Our lack of awareness might just make their influence more insidious.
Maybe somewhere along the line we got the impression that God was out to get us for any hint of imperfection. For whatever reason, maybe we equated being perfect with being lovable. Maybe guilt, shame, or insecurity has kept us imprisoned, afraid to share our gifts for fear of being rejected or ridiculed.
As far back as I can remember, a sense of being deeply flawed felt like a secret I had to keep from the world—and even from myself. Intellectually, I believed that God loved me unconditionally. It took years, however, for that truth to start penetrating from my head to my heart. Acceptance and encouragement from companions on my spiritual journey helped me experience God’s love rather than acknowledge it theoretically.
I’m still learning. When I make a mistake these days I try not to cringe or kick myself. Instead, I remind myself that being human is not a sin. It’s getting easier to share my imperfections with people I trust.
There’s something powerful about acknowledging my flaws in a safe environment—sometimes in the confessional, sometimes over coffee with a friend. It gives me the courage to be vulnerable. When I open the ancient doors of my heart, the great king of love and peace always finds his way in.
What ancient doors keep you isolated? What will help you open them?
Copyright 2017, Barbara Hosbach