Welcome In

 Josh Reeves


   Do you know those awkward times at restaurants when you hold the door open for a stranger and the line just keeps getting longer?  It almost takes an act of faith to know that it will end or that someone will take your place at the door so you don’t let it go onto someone and pretend you didn’t see them there.

  Holding the door open is a powerful metaphor for life and giving. When we hold the door open for someone to walk through, we aren’t just being polite, we are welcoming them into what is beyond that threshold, sometimes to experience what we have, but sometimes to experience what is beyond that threshold before it is our own.

        This is not just the chopped salad at C.P.K.  This is the door you hold open for your child’s security and opportunity.  This is the door you hold open for a student or employee to have a realization or achievement.  This is the door you hold open for your spouse to win an argument.  It is the same when you give money to charity, or donate time at a non-profit, or go out of your way to compliment someone.  You are opening the door for that charity to succeed, for that non-profit to flourish, for that someone to embrace the truth of who they are.

        “Welcome in,” we are saying.  “Welcome in.” When you give the waiter a tip, “Welcome in.”  When we don’t argue about what we watch on the television, “Welcome in.”  When we forgive someone a trespass they have made upon us, “Welcome in.”

        We are like the polite stranger, opening the door to a greater good even though it means our own satisfaction may be delayed.  Yet, in opening the door and welcoming in, we find a satisfaction unique in its own right that may cause us to see there is some wisdom in this approach for everyday life.  The best way to open doors of fulfillment for our selves is often in opening a door for another.

        There’s a legend about the Bodhisattva or Angel in Buddhism.  The Bodhisattva is fully capable of becoming a Buddha, of stepping fully into total enlightenment- of releasing the earth entirely and crossing the threshold into heaven.  Yet the Bodhisattva chooses not to and instead vows to hold the door of heaven open until all others first walk through.  This is what the Bodhisattva is and does–holding the door open for all others to enter into heaven.

        A vow of a Bodhisattva is often something that sounds impossible to our human understanding.  The Bodhisattva knows that suffering is endless, yet she vows to stop it.  She knows that the line of soul’s to enter heaven is unending, yet she vows to hold the door open until all pass through.  There is a secret meaning here.  Crossing the threshold isn’t true enlightenment for the Bodhisattva, holding the door open is. 

        In our own lives, holding the door open for others and whatever comes before us to pass through even if we sometimes have not even had the good that lies beyond that door ourselves, this is heaven; this is enlightenment.

        Is this not the message of every great individual who ever lived be it your mom or Jesus or King?  Live your life fully yet let your life be an open door that others might pass through to experience life more richly.


One Response to “Welcome In”

  1. John Speight says:

    Thumbs up! Thanks for including me.

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