…small hinges hold big doors…

In his commentary on Nehemiah, Warren Wiersbe makes this insightful statement:

Like large doors, great life-changing events can swing on very small hinges.

– Warren Wiersbe

I find this to be a wonderfully encouraging thing, though there is a definite layer of frustration that typically accompanies it.

So few of the opportunities we encounter in life are the result of our specific engineering and planning. We must plan and prepare and organize in order to move forward, that is truth, but it seems that those things hold little power when it comes to actually moving into moments of significance. In fact, it almost seems as if those big moves find their genesis in times of confusion or disorientation and their most fertile soil in times when we are most acutely aware of our own weakness.

It doesn’t take much to swing open a large door. Small hinges, appropriately placed, and well oiled can turn a disproportionately larger piece of wood or metal into a gliding entryway. They do their job with little difficulty. Only when they are not well kept do they whine and whimper and creak as they turn (but make no mistake, even creaky hinges open doors). So it would seem that if we could put our finger on the identity of those hinges we might have a good chance at finding more open doors.

I can’t say that it’s an exhaustive answer, I’m quite certain that this topic could go hundreds of directions, but I believe one of the leading identities of our hinges is determination and perseverance. The stubborn fight in us that won’t let go of what we believe, that won’t back down from what we have been promised, that won’t let the dream inside of us die; this is the hinge that swings the door wide. Ironically, it’s the willingness to put our shoulder into the wall beside the door over and over again that seems to trigger the latch, begin the movement, and ease the passageway open.

Failure is a temporary thing. It must be. For the Christian in particular failure is something only experienced in the ongoing process of growth and change. It is never a stopping point, it is merely a signpost that there is further to go.

I know the account has been told more times than I could count, but I find it to be uniquely amazing, among all of the stories of perseverance, every time I read the story of Col. Sanders. Living in his car for a year, pitching the chicken that would one day make him famous and rich to more than a thousand restaurants and hearing “no” at every one before he finally got his break. The story is not all that different from Edison or Salk except for one “juicy” detail. Sanders wasn’t trying to bring light to a world that spent half it’s time in the dark, and he wasn’t trying to figure out how to save the lives of men and women, girls and boys with a ground breaking new medical discovery. No, the man named Sanders was pimping fried chicken.

Chicken. Say it out loud: “chicken”. One year of homeless existence, for chicken. One year of repeated rejection, for chicken. One year of hearing and perhaps believing that he was a failure, for chicken. One year when his only friend had been plucked, cleaned, and cooked, for chicken. But it didn’t matter because it was his door. He didn’t stop because there wasn’t a great need for another kind of chicken, chicken was his door. He kept putting his shoulder against the wall until his door cracked and then glided open.

I don’t know what you are waiting for. The temptation is to see your “door” as unimportant, as trivial, as capricious in light of all the other doors you’ve seen and heard about. But that kind of thinking will lead to rusty hinges. God has called us all to do something that He considers great. The unique place in the body of Christ and kingdom of God that we hold as individuals, loved and beckoned by the Savior, is not to be looked at as expendable, but as essential. Your door matters. And so your hinges matter too.

Keep pressing. Keep failing. Keep moving. Keep being rejected. Keep on, not because it’s enjoyable, or because it makes life easier, but keep on because there is a moment coming when all of that hinge maintenance is going to come in handy when the lock is disengaged, and the handle is turned, and the barrier that has stood between us and our future finds itself floating away, powered by the hand of God and moving on the hinges of determination to believe in His call.

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