Closed doors instinctively spark curiosity for me. Is the door closed to keep something/someone out? Or to keep things safe and out of immediate view? Locked doors step up inquisitiveness even more. Who has the key and what request is worthy of unlocking it?
Pausing in the doorway of a new calendar year provides a unique view of the year just past while seeing the vague outlines of the unlocked year ahead. We have some control over how those outlines take shape and, using the past year as a reference, often resolve to add, subtract or change something in the new year.
Last fall I completed work on a photography project for a class I took. The project idea was inspired on October 31st, which is the traditional celebration of the Reformation. I have always loved my German Lutheran heritage and seeing the images yet again of Luther nailing the 95 theses to the Castle church door planted the idea to study church doors through photography.
Searching out and examining closed church doors taught me to see patterns and clues about what happened when those church doors opened. Seeing the wonderful examples of historic church architecture in my area stirred in me a desire to see and photograph the magnificent structures found in European countries.
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation will be celebrated in 2017. What better time to fulfill my dream to walk the lands that Luther walked and see the walls (and doors) and towns and cities that provided the context for his life’s work?
Achieving a dream requires a tremendous amount of vision, planning, and commitment. Hard work is the key currency required to work out the details. It also requires examining what else is important to me and what compromises and sacrifices I am willing to make throughout the process.
The door to my dream is closed right now, but not locked. I can pry the tool out of the latch if I am willing to reform my thinking from “got it, spend it” to “earn it, save it.”
My husband is not interested in a trip of this nature and our retirement budget does not include a trip just for me. Therefore, the first sacrifice required of me is to give up some of my well-loved and well-used free time to find temporary jobs to earn the money to fund my dream.
I will not give up my volunteer time at school and I am limited in how much I can earn on Social Security since I am still under age for penalty-free unlimited earning, The tour I have tentatively signed up for is scheduled for late October, 2017, so I have plenty of time to acquire the necessary funds. And there are other changes I can make to carve a trip savings into shape.
Luther was all about reform. Not fundamental change, just reform. Taking that as my guideline, I begin 2016 examining my heart and mind to sort through what thoughts and financial behaviors I can reform in order to conform to what I need to do to nurture and grow my trip dream into reality by October 2017.
The foundation of any dream is to build it on complete and total trust that the Lord God knows best what to give and what to withhold. Whether the trip becomes a reality or is replaced by something unforeseen that would prevent it, I will be blessed. One of my favorite words of God’s truth is from Romans 8:28:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I can dream to my heart’s content and know that God will figure out how to use it for my good, either here on earth or else in heaven. But I have to do more than dream. I have to take on the challenge of change if I want to actually set foot in Wartburg Castle.
(If you are interested in how the church door project turned out, click this link: Church Door Gallery )