Fear of the Unknown Valentine deFrancis

The Doors


I was walking down a very deserted road. It was dark and still, and the air thick with perfumed grass of the moistened soil under my feet. The fog was so cold, and I was alone. There wasn’t anyone to phone or call out to, or to hold me while I quaked in fear.
The mist was confusing, and I squinted and strained my eyes to see. My steps were small and cautioned for fear that I would fall. Yet as I walked through this dreamlike state, I knew that eventually I would stumble upon it–I knew it in my gut. I sensed it deep within. There wasn’t a doubt. It was now here.The light from the lamp post shined, making the air look white, and although I was filled with uncertainty of what I’d find, the frightening truth was I had to choose. It was time. There was no turning back. I stood before it, my shadow tall. I couldn’t go any further until I stepped forward. Before me they appeared–massive structures hovering through the universe. Two doors. Two paths to the unknown. Two decisions that would make or break my life. My mind’s eye could no longer see or discern from either of them. They were identical. The ghostly fear of the unknown was larger than life, mocking me, smirking, and making me think twice.



But which door holds my life, the life that promises joy and love, and freedom from fear and doubt? Which door will redeem me for past crimes that I have committed? Which door will lead me down the path of promise–to the land of knowing? Why am I so afraid to choose? What will happen to me if I’m wrong?My hands shook uncontrollably, and my heart pounded through my chest–each door was so unknowingly alluring and inticing, yet dangerous enough to cause me death. I took another step forward, now muttering to the Lord to help. The decision was too much to handle, because if I was incorrect in choosing, what would happen? What would become of me? Would I end up in the pit of hell or shunned by humanity?
“Oh Father,” I cried, louder than I had wanted. “Why am I so afraid to open either door? You offer me two, so one of them must be for the good … but which one, tell me? I can’t do any more. I can’t lose this battle!”

I didn’t get an answer, but instead I cried out again. “Father, what lies beyond these doors? Why must I choose life or death? Why are you making me decide? If you love me, you would just lead me–you would just tell me which way to go. You are supposed to be helping me, yet now, when I need you the most, all I can see are these two doors. There are no markings, no words of caution, just two doors that I must open. But what if I open one and it has no floor, and I fall through space and time, at speeds that will torment me as I crush in the pits of destruction? Oh Father please! Tell me what to do. What is this going to prove? My heart is good and my intentions are loving. Can’t you just tell me what lies ahead?”

And then I took another step and with trepidation and fear, I reached my hand out to turn the knob that belonged to the door on the right. And I was almost there, my hand a fraction of an inch away, when I confusingly turned to look at the other door and reached for that one instead. And as I turned my head from right to left, and then from left to right, I cried at how I was so afraid to know what lied ahead. Yet I knew I had to make the decision and quickly, because the earth that I was standing on was receding, getting smaller and narrower, and I could hear the mountains crumbling and smell the molten lava burning the brush, and soon I would not have the safety and security that I always knew.
The sweat was dripping down my temples, and my body trembled involuntarily as I put my hand on the knob once more. And for the last time I cried out louder than I did before and yelled, “Father, I love you. I only wanted to do good and be loved. I cannot make my mind choose correctly, so I will have to go on faith. And Father, please understand that if I have chosen the wrong door, then forgive me, because I love you, and only wanted to do what was right. Father, I am going to open this door, and just know that I believe in you.”

And I held onto the knob with all my might, and looked down at my feet and saw that there wasn’t a ground–nothing but light–no sound to be heard–my time had come and there was nothing I could do but walk through. And when I crossed the threshold, I opened my eyes and looked–the road was there, and I could smell the moistened grass, and I could hear the peacefulness of the sun rising and see the promise of the future. And I suddenly knew that the only thing that kept me from moving through was my own fear.



Doors are meant to be opened. Thresholds are made to be crossed. If we don’t take chances and grab every opportunity, big or small, we will never know what we are capable of. Our faith in God must be in the fact that He will never let us fall–not even in our darkest hour.

Valentine deFrancis.© 2008 valentine defrancis all rights reserved







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