Stuck?

Here’s a simple lesson from being stuck – a funny story from my life, with a hopeful reminder.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever found yourself stuck? Literally – I mean it: really stuck…

The other week I was there again.

I went into a storage closet we have around the church – I was on a quest to retrieve something we’d be using later that Sunday within the sermon. There was another meeting going on within the main room, so to be considerate, I closed the door behind me.

After locating the item, I switched off the light and turned the handle of the door as quietly as I could, so not to disturb the meeting going on. As my hand grasped the handle and began to turn – it quickly became apparent that it didn’t want to turn.

Hmmm, I thought. So after repeatedly trying to turn the handle more than 30 degrees – it became clear…it wasn’t opening. I tried dislodging the latch, foiled again. Not wanting to shake the door too forcefully, thus drawing attention to the dude who has now become lodged within the closet – I backed up and began looking at options. I could either bang on the door and disrupt and thus get someone to come to my rescue amidst much embarrassment or I could call someone.

I reached for my phone.

One of our staffers and a true friend came to my rescue and even without much ridiculing.

But upon his arrival and the hearing the key rattle within the door and it not opening…I noticed the closet light on the other side of the 3/4 wall that separates the joined space come on. I then saw him come into view upon the ladder to the roof on the other side. He relayed what I had now realized to be true. The door wouldn’t open from the outside either.

Bummer. I’m stuck…

I needed a new plan.

So, I scaled the closet shelving units – scooted across the 3/4 wall and jumped to the emergency/roof access ladder. I made my way down and out the other side – walked outside with my friend and had a good laugh. Here’s the picture just prior to the jump of death as I will from now on remember it by…(and yes, that seems a bit exaggerated, but it is my story isn’t it…)

Why do I write about this slightly embarrassing story?

Because someone must. And everyone of us could…

What I had to discover was simple: when your plans fail, when your back-up plans fizzle out too – and you find yourself stuck.

Don’t give up.

Find another way.

It will take a different kind of energy and more effort than you thought at first. Keep looking to your friends for assistance. Say a little prayer. (I sure did) Observe the options available. Choose one and take a step. Take action. Take a leap…

You don’t have to resign yourself to being stuck forever.

And when it’s done and you’re back moving again – it’s okay to laugh about it, to look back and learn. Maybe you look back and say “Man, I shouldn’t have gotten myself stuck in there in the first place.”

You can say, “That was then, this is now. Glad that’s over.” Learn from your mistakes/circumstances and move forward.

We will all find ourselves stuck in many ways and at different times in life. (whether you put yourself there or someone else got you there.)

None of us have to stay there, stuck…

Don’t give up…

For I follow a God who has a great habit of reaching into troubled and broken scenarios and rescuing those who look to Him. Though now it may appear dark…His mercies meet us anew every morning…

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  ~Psalm 103:1-5

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