Every once in a while my youngest gets obsessed with “knock, knock” jokes. A few days ago we experienced one of those days. Being 10, and creative- repeating jokes he’s read or heard is not enough. No- my kid wants to be the Bill Cosby of Knock knock jokes. He writes his own material. He’s not alone. There is probably either a book or at least a website devoted to the random “humor” that is children’s interpretations of the classic “Knock, Knock” joke. (Okay- I made that part up. But it could be true.)
I’d Google it to confirm- but honestly? I’m so tired of knock, knock jokes I don’t even want to be exposed to them online. (It’s not the jokes it the stress of trying to figure out what’s funny that’s exhausting… Knock knock? Who’s there? Cheese? Cheese Who? I still don’t get it… Just saying. I’ve learned to laugh when he does.) There are programs for automatically blocking P*R#, I’d consider one for blocking annoying Kn*ck, #noc* jokes?”
But this post isn’t about Knock Knock jokes. (Sue me for a bait and switch title… But really- come on If you’ve read here before you should have expected that.:P)
It’s about doors. And Knock Knocks. Kind of. Because, I think “Who’s there?” is the wrong question. At least for me. And maybe for you, too.
I recently watched a terrific movie about Temple Grandin (A fabulous story of autism and the human spirit;) in which doors played a very important and symbolic role. (Confession: My college kids now believe I’m obsessed with Temple Grandin. It could be true. She’s amazing.)
When faced with a door- Temple didn’t ask : “Knock, Knock?” Nor, did Temple ask: “Who’s there?” Nope. When Temple encountered a door-Temple opened doors. Temple went through doors. Figuratively and physically. (Thanks to a teacher who helped her see them as opportunities.Teachers make a huge difference!)
Which is probably when I became enthralled with Temple. (Or, “Obsessed” according to my children. Whatever.) We are all presented with doors everyday. Choices. Opportunities. The thing is- our opening them also involves going through them…. which involves moving in a direction.
Sometimes doors close behind us. Once closed, we can’t go back. Sometimes going through a door is good. (Like childbirth…. even though my oldest- upon meeting his first brother- demanded we “put him back.” Nope- that’s a door you only go through once.) Or taking a risk to submit to a publication. That can be a good door- whether it’s published or not. It can be an act of obedience and a lesson in perseverance.
And then there are “other” doors. Doors that take us “other” places.
Doors aren’t destinations-or simple opportunities…. they are pathways- pathways that can change the direction of our lives.
Some are mental pathways. I’ve been going through a Bible study by John Ortberg called “The Me I want to Be” and last week I got confronted with my tendency to go down negative- and fear-filled mental pathways. Paths that end in anxiety and depression.
I don’t end up there accidentally- it usually starts with a “knock, knock.” (I’m confronted with a moment that provokes a choice or a series of choices that leads me in a direction….) Maybe the question isn’t “Knock, Knock” or, “Who’s there?” Maybe the question I need to start asking is: “Where does this door lead?”
Temple Grandin’s doors always led to positive directions. Mine do not. Sometimes my doors lead to sin. (Hello- cupcake addict. Food= not a healthy friend. Friends- can be healthy friends. not food. (If you et your friends that’s called: cannibalism. Illegal in most places- wrong in all. Just saying.) Or, they could lead to rabbit holes…. (like the time I’ve spent watching Temple Grandin interviews- that probably could have been used to…. oh, I don’t know- do something productive in the world… or at least in my laundry room. Whatever.)
So this week- when confronted with a door- I’m not just automatically opening it. I’m not calling out “Knock, Knock.” (That’s annoying- unless it’s on Big Bang theory- then, it’s kind of nerdly endearing.) Or, Who’s there….. But I may ask: Where do you lead?
Hopefully- I’ll take the doors that lead me closer to Jesus.
Where are you going?
From Revelation 3 (Which I don’t think I’ve ever quoted before Because revelations is beyond my pay grade…..I generally leave that to theologians. But- this door thing is a theme here… and in so many other places…. biblically and in life. We seem to be obsessed with doors.
8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches……….
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
So- my questions to you:
Do you love or hate “Knock, Knock jokes.” ?
How do you approach doors? Do you open them without a thought- see them as blocks along your journey- or consider where they may lead before opening?
Most importantly- At what age to kids out grow these things?