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Proud and handsome, he’s used to being the center of attention. He’s successful. Some of it he has received by honest means. Some he has not. Of course, no one knows about the latter, so he assumes that he’s a good man. After all, he grabbed onto the American Dream with all his cunning and his know-how, working hard for everything he’s achieved. He has the biggest house. The fastest car. The prettiest wife. The best-achieving children. And the best toys.

Yet, something is missing. He can’t figure it out. For all his degrees, his problem solving skills and his hard work, he doesn’t know why he feels alone, unfulfilled, unhappy, disappointed. It keeps him awake at night. And when he does sleep, it haunts his dreams. This vast emptiness. This aching loneliness. This sense of impending doom.

One night as he lies awake next to his sleeping wife he says to no one in particular, “Please help.” It’s an honest, simple and gut-wrenching plea. He falls asleep and dreams. In his dream he walks into a vast room. It has no walls or corners. It simply exists. Somehow he knows that it’s the most important room of his life. A place where decisions, once made, are never changed.

Off in the distance he sees a large structure. It’s an immense wooden door. Older than anything he’s ever encountered. Walking toward it, another door appears. This door is new and shiny. He hears laughter behind it. At first it makes him smile. He turns toward that door, but stops in mid-step. Recognizing the laughter as his own, he knows when it occurred. He recently made a joke at the expense of another person. In fact, his sharp wit sliced the other man to shreds.

He doesn’t open the door, but he does feel something new. Sorrow. He’s sorry for making the other person feel small. For stripping him of his dignity. For building himself up by tearing another person down.

Other doors appear. Other sounds and smells and memories flood his mind. He remembers other times when he did exactly the same thing and much worse. He doesn’t open any of the doors. He simply falls to his knees. He tears his clothes. Not only the memories, but the sudden realization of all he’s done in his life at the expense of others is too much to bear.

“Help me!” From the depths of his soul he cries out, knowing he doesn’t deserve help. Yet, he begs as if his life depends upon it. He knows he doesn’t want to go through any of those doors again. He asks for forgiveness with a sincere heart. He wants to change. He wants more.

Eventually, he looks up and sees the old, wooden door again. The ancient one he first saw when he entered this room that isn’t a room. Something’s different. The most beautiful light is coming through the door. It’s not only beautiful to behold, it surrounds him in love. He’s never experienced anything like it.

It’s unusually quiet. He hears no other sound. The other doors are gone. The ones that illuminate his selfish life. This one door remains. The man looks at it, basking in the warmth and love seeping through.

Then he hears it. Barely. A sound. A knocking. He sees the door knob. It’s illuminated. He makes the decision to open the door. As he approaches the door he knows he’s made the most important decision of his life. Everything else in his life is simply rags. All he’s achieved. The money he’s made. The awards he’s won. The admiration and envy of others. It’s meaningless.

A memory floods him. He’s a little boy sitting at a small table with other children. He sees the face of his Sunday School teacher. She’s smiling, as if she has the best secret in the whole world. She shows them a picture of a man standing at a door without a doorknob.

“Jesus stands at the door of your heart and he knocks. All you have to do is to open the door and invite him in.”

All these decades later that’s exactly what the man does. The light of the Lord envelopes him and changes him from the inside out. He becomes a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He’s never the same. He becomes the spiritual leader in his family. His children come to the Lord as does his wife. His life isn’t perfect, but the one he serves is. That’s all that matters.

It turns out that the man he humiliated opened that same door many years ago. They become best friends.

Do you hear a knocking? Open the door and invite the Lord in. You’ll never regret it.

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Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at kathyydoe4@gmail.com.

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