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Is the Door Locked?

It is very entertaining to watch a person work at some challenge that they are facing when the audience knows something that the contestant does not know.  The audience has been told the “secret” of what is going to happen at the end of all of the struggle by the contestant.  Because the person that is “on stage” is not aware of the hoax or hidden “trick”, they labor in good faith and diligence to press toward the solution.  The time runs out and the contestant feels a sense of defeat.  Then, the host reveals that the whole thing was rigged and that the contestant had been set up.  Everyone in the audience laughs and the contestant shakes their head and walks off stage.

Harry Houdini, the famed escape artist issued a challenge wherever he went. He could be locked in any jail cell in the country, he claimed, and set himself free quickly and easily. Always he kept his promise, but one time something went wrong. Houdini entered the jail in his street clothes; the heavy, metal doors clanged shut behind him. He took from his belt a concealed piece of metal, strong and flexible. He set to work immediately, but something seemed to be unusual about this lock. For 30 minutes he worked and got nowhere. An hour passed, and still he had not opened the door. By now he was bathed in sweat and panting in exasperation, but he still could not pick the lock. Finally, after laboring for 2 hours, Harry Houdini collapsed in frustration and failure against the door he could not unlock. But when he fell against the door, it swung open! It had never been locked at all! But in his mind it was locked and that was all it took to keep him from opening the door and walking out of the jail cell.  (Copied).

What is funny as a television stunt is not funny in life.  Many people are terribly frustrated from working diligently to get ahead only to discover that they are not gaining ground.  It is not that they fail to put in long days on the job nor is it that they are frivolous with their money.  Some are just underpaid and cannot cover the expenses of their family.  Others are trapped in debt and their bills are greater than their pay can sustain.  Still others “live above their means” in doing things and going places that takes their disposable income and leaves their financial commitments unfulfilled.

There is a sadder aspect to life.  It is found in people with great giftedness in some area of their skill set, but they live as if “the door of opportunity” was locked to them.  They will not try to stretch their influence or marketability.  They refuse to seek to move up to a new level of performance.  When a better job is offered if they would just apply, they always turn back to what is comfortable and non-challenging.  Those folks live in “cells” that are locked in their own minds.  If they would only “lean a little” against the door of opportunity, it would swing open wide.  We were made by God to do our best with what He gifted us to do.

Scripture admonishes us to do our best….. Colossians 3:23-24 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.  1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  Romans 12:11 – Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.  Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Ecclesiastes 9:10 – Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your mightHave you leaned against the door that is in front of you?  It may be unlocked already…..!