Have you noticed how we crave certainty and information? Totally natural. But I have noticed some irony from time to time.
I had a friend that was single, and as she was dating and going through the adventure that adult dating can be, she made a statement. If she felt a guy was not interested or she discovered she was not interested in moving forward she tried to have a simple conversation. “I’m not intersected in you.” or “Are you interested in me?” because she would say, “Knowing one or both of us is not interested is enough information.” Sounds simple, right? But typically we try to either understand, or soften what feel like harsh realities, or come up with some excuse or reason that clouds the simple-no-fault-fact that we sometimes just aren’t interested.
And this applies in other areas.
I had a friend that had a difficult conversation with her boss. She was honest. She shared her thoughts and feelings and frustrations and the response was not at all what she expected. As she was sorting through that conversation she was trying to make sense of it all and I suggested…
There is just as much value in knowing where you do not need to be, as knowing where you do need to go.
We tend to prize open doors and mourn the ones that are shut. But they are both precious and valuable. When something is clearly dysfunctional there might be enough information in that reality to know where you need to not be. No’s, not-now’s, yes’s…they are all gifts, both as indicators and a release to move forward. This applies in dating, in work, in friendships, in church dynamics. If a door closes, you still get to turn around and start moving forward, it’s just in a different direction. But I worry some of us spend time staring at that door, stuck in “why not” or “what happened,” when we actually might already have enough information. I know in my story I have stood at closed doors knocking for years, maybe even trying to break-in to spaces God when already given me enough info.
I get this picture in my mind. We are approaching a business. There is a sign on the door, it reads “closed.” Let me ask…do you argue with that door? Maybe you get frustrated cause you had assumed it was open, but still, you have the information you need. It’s not the strongest analogy, but I can honestly say I have wasted so much energy in front of some of life’s “store fronts” arguing with a closed sign. And I hope all of us do that at least a little less often. If you have enough information, if you already honestly have what you need to know, remember, there is just as much value in knowing where (or with whom) you do not need to be as knowing where (or with whom) you do.