I recently went to a great meeting a local church. In the bathroom I could not help but notice that both doors to the stalls had a square cut out of the bottom right corner. It just seemed odd as the doors were wooden with a trimmed edge and then this divot clearly cut out. The doors were painted and appeared in good repair, but they had this notch missing and perhaps I was a little distracted, but I could not help but wonder what would have happened to cause anyone to fire up a power tool and cut the corner of a wooden door in such a way.
Washing my hands, beginning to focus on something beyond my stall door musings, I looked across the room and realized that the doors swung in and the cut out prevented the doors from banging into the toilets. So, the toilets could have been replaced and were larger, or someone with access to a saw was annoyed by the collisions. The fix, it would seem, was a simple one, just carve a hunk out of a well-made trimmed wooden door in order to alleviate a troublesome situation.
How often does this happen, that we hacksaw something of ourselves or our lives in order to make it fit better with something else? Maybe you used to travel a lot, but new demands of work or family have caused you to carve that out. Maybe you used to be completely confident about singing in public or doing magic tricks, and things have happened over time that cut a hole in that part of your repertoire.
I think the thing about passing time is that no matter what we are changing, the circumstances we are in are changing and sometimes the old bumps up against the new. I feel like the church had some choices here, make the staff longer, change the direction of the doors or be more careful about the size of new toilets. I think that change is good and necessary and inevitable, I just also think that when tempted to rush to the skill saw to hack off yet another piece of yourself to fit a new situation, maybe pause. Is it you who must change or are you in fact trying to fit into the wrong stall? Or is the collision of new and old, or differing opinions and ideas exactly what is needed right now, and no holes are necessary until a new solution emerges.
Chopping off bits to make things fit can sometimes work; however, awareness of the number of holes your making is critical to ensure that you are in fact still true to your core being and unique presence in this world.
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