On Sunday morning Joni (If you aren’t at Wildwood Church, Joni is the gap year student who is staying with us while he serves on the church youth ministry) looked out of his window to see my car tailgate was open. He writes this:
“I woke up early and used the time to listen. I’m looking out for doors being opened that I can go through, but instead I found myself closing open doors. In the first place it seemed a paradox but then I understood:
as we are on our journey with the car, some of us might find our back door standing open. Things we need can fall out, and things we don’t want can come in. God showed me to sort out my 4×4 off-road vehicle and close my personal doors if I am going to be fit for Mission.”
The open tailgate can mean may things. For some it may be that you have been driving like that for a while, and the reality of Jesus in your life has somehow got left behind – or maybe was never on the journey. You’ve never really shut the door on your old life. You need to stop, let Him in (again), and this time move off with that door firmly shut.
For others you may have never really “shut the door” on knowing the person of the Holy Spirit, and you think you can drive off with it open and unresolved. That may be possible on a nice flat road, but God is taking us on a winding new way up the mountain, and we need the Holy Spirit next to us to navigate.
For many of us this open tailgate represents undealt with issues in our lives. While we move along the main road we might not notice it flapping, but now, on this off-road track, it becomes a danger: faith, hope and love can all fall out as we go over the bumps, and enemies like fear and despair can sneak in while we are stationary. It needs to be firmly shut. God wants us to take our 4×4 vehicle up the mountain, but He is saying to us all: “Are we really ready? Or have we left any back doors open?
We need to ask him to show us if we have, and show us how to make sure they are properly shut. Only then can we safely move off.