Walk Forward Confidently
February 2, 2023
From Joseph Wamack
Long ago-in a country far, far away-when a spy was captured-he was given a death sentence for spying. The general in charge of executions enjoyed toying with the condemned men. To amuse himself, he had, over the years, developed a twisted custom of letting the condemned man choose between a firing squad and whatever might be behind an unknown black door.
The blindfolded, condemned man was led to an outer courtyard where his blindfold was removed. Before him on his left, was a firing squad of 5 men with rifles, while twenty yards to the right was a large, black door. The general asked the condemned man, “which shall it be-the firing squad or whatever is in store for you behind the black door?”
The condemned man was hesitant to choose one or the other, but finally chose the firing squad. The condemned man was led a few feet away where he was blindfolded again and immediately killed.
The general said to his aide, standing nearby, “do you see how it is with men? They will always choose the known to the unknown because the unknown makes them fearful. And yet, he had a choice.”
The aide said, “But what was behind the black door?”
The general said, “If he had chosen the black door, I would have given him his freedom. But I have only known a few men brave enough to take it.”
Many of us are like this condemned man-afraid of the unknown, afraid of what might be lying behind an unknown door, with an unknown future. We cling to the familiar, even if in some cases, the familiar experience is unhealthy or unhappy. Too often we allow ourselves to be prisoners of our present, rather than choosing a future ripe with potential because we cannot see.
Many are afraid to move on because there are too many skeletons rattling in the closet. As Dionne Warwick sang, “There is always something there to remind me.” Maybe for some, there is too much guilt and baggage to move freely into the future. Sometimes the comfort of the present is too much to give up, even if it is unhealthy.
In the Bible-Lot’s wife-chose to look longingly back at Sodom one time before leaving (Gen.19:26). Unfortunately, her backward glance at her past, rather than looking towards her future with God was her undoing. She remained forever frozen for eternity.
How many doors of opportunity for you have remained closed, simply due to fear of what might lie on the other side? How many new friends, new places, and how many rewarding experiences have we passed up because we have clung to the past, the common, the familiar or followed the path of least resistance? I want to remind myself-“I may not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.” Walk forward confidently. The future is bright with promise.