Lack of Access, Progress and Frustration

There are few things more glorious than going on vacation to the beach. And there are few things more frustrating than a dud of a key card.

         You’ve worked hard. You packed. You fought traffic jams. You choked down drive-through food just to get there a few minutes earlier. Luckily you scored a luggage cart and artfully stack that sucker like a game of Jenga. You’re pretty sure removing one piece prematurely would bring the whole structure down but you’re not really sure which one it is. You unload your sleeping children, carrying them in one arm and try to push or pull the luggage cart with the other. (Why does it seem we always pick the wrong way first?) You finally make it to your room which is of course as far away from the elevator as possible.  You’re steps away from soft beds and the official start of your vacation. The only thing between you is the door. “Ahh, we made it!” You slide the card down the reader in the door, push the handle down… nuthin’! You slide it slower. You slide it faster. You close your eyes, hold your breath, open one eye hoping to see the little green light. Still nuthin’.

          In utter disgust you storm down to the front desk (as much as you can storm when you’re exhausted) and they apologize, cautioning you about keeping it too close to credit cards. (“It hasn’t even been in my wallet, people!”) In two seconds they have “re-coded” your card and you’re back on track until two days later when you’re coming back from the pool with the beach bags, cooler, pool noodles, towels, and whiney kids and it happens again!

         The frustration rises to a fever pitch.You’ve been denied access to something you have a right to. You planned for it. You paid for it. Why can’t you get in?  We all have places in our lives where we have been denied access-some locked door stands between us, and something we desire. We have planned for it. We have paid for it in some form or fashion. If God promises that He has plans for me to prosper and have a future, why can’t I get to it? Why can’t I get that promotion? Why has my husband shut me out? Why isn’t life working? Unanswered “whys” usher in frustration.

          I wasn’t at the beach this weekend. I’m was in the mountains. There were no toddlers in my arms, only a project I have been carrying for awhile. Quite honestly it feels like an eternity- like I’ve carried it to the last room at the end of the hall a few hundred times. I was standing at the door to my next- my more and it’s not opening. Why, Lord? I’m frustrated. I walked around expelling heavy sighs. The words on the pages didn’t even make sense any more. Why is this so hard? Why is it taking so long? In the absence of an immediate answer, I do whatever I CAN do. Whatever is in my ability, scope, or territory to impact.

          I did what I could do. I know it sounds a little like that irritating saying, “It is what it is.” But it’s true. So, I dove headlong back into the process. I tried everything- I wrote things that worked, and things I knew would end up in my trash folder. But I wrote. I also did the hard thing. I divided and conquered a huge editing project with my writing partner. Trudging through feedback I didn’t want to look at let alone consider. Finally, I took time to sit and look at the mountains- allowing the good sighs to come out too. And even though at times it felt like I was walking in circles, I know I made progress. I didn’t allow frustration or unanswered whys to stop me. (Not this weekend, at least.) I am convinced that one of these times, I will cross a threshold.

          Tell me what is frustrating you these days? At what locked door are you standing? What are you doing with your frustration? Leave a comment or send me a message. Let’s tackle this stuff together.