I have this little ritual that I play out every day when I leave and then return to my house. I open my garage door and back my car into the driveway. I then get back out of my car, walk over to the key pad that is hanging right beside the garage door, I push the “Enter” button and the garage door magically goes down. Upon which I return to my car, buckle my seat belt, turn on my Spotify, pick a channel and head out for the day. Later, when I return, I reverse this order – Pull into my driveway, disengage my Spotify, unbuckle my seat belt, leave my car, go to the keypad, push the appropriate buttons, the garage door magically opens, I return to my car and re-enter my garage. I do this every day, rain or shine and let me tell you that shine is a much better overall experience than rain.
I do this everyday because my garage door opener (and my whole garage) is old. So old that we now only have one remote control that works. And that remote lives in Michelle’s car, as it should. The last thing I want is for my lady to have to play out this little ritual every single day! I know what you are saying. “David, that is an easy fix.” I know that I can simply buy a universal remote and program it to my old garage door opener. I know I could also spring for a new opener which will come with brand new remotes. I am well aware of my options. I, in no way, sit around every day cursing my maker because of the apparent smiting that he has placed on me because I have no garage door remote. So, why then do I live with this daily garage door ritual?
Before I explain any further I want to tell you a story. There once was a young man who grew up in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, with a good family and good friends. This young man never worried about anything, except for the fear of Santa not delivering to him everything on his Christmas list. Life was good. As this young man grew up he knew and understood the blessing that was his life. Things just always seemed to work out for him and this fact gave him a sense of peace in the midst of everything. Any stress that this young man felt in his life was self-actuated because he truly had nothing stressful happening to him.
As this young man grew into adulthood he started to realize that his life experience wasn’t typical. Many people that this man loved very much had experienced such horrible things growing up. He often wondered how some people he knew survived and became the amazing people that stood before him in that present moment. He began to realize that he really didn’t have anything to complain about and that he should dedicate his life to doing just that, not complaining about anything.
Fast-forward several years and you park yourself outside my house. The garage door opens and you witness my daily routine and you wonder if I am the young man in the story. Yes I am! Will we ever fix our garage? Yes. Will I ever complain about my daily ritual until that day comes? No. Why? Because, I believe, my daily garage door ritual doesn’t warrant complaining. I believe, in the scheme of life, my daily garage door ritual is small potatoes. I not only think this about my garage door ritual, but I also think this about politics, reality TV, professional sports, neighborhood gossip, traffic, the weather and the finale of Game of Thrones.
Why am I sharing this? Because I couldn’t have written those words five months ago. Before my heart transplant I hated my garage door ritual. I listened to and got heated over politics on a daily basis. I lived and died by my favorite professional sports teams. I got impatient in traffic. I complained about how hot it was or how cold it was or how rainy it was or how dry it was. (I will be honest that I never ever cared about reality TV or Game of Thrones, but I wanted to connect with a much wider audience.) In essence, I used to sweat the small stuff. Life had caused me to lose touch with that young man who truly knew how blessed he was. I met him again in the words of my doctor when he announced “You can’t leave this hospital until you receive a new heart.” In that moment that little boy, that young man, showed back up into my reality and we have been getting reacquainted ever since. I was reminded that everything was going to be alright, because that has been the story of my life.
So, today I will once again return home after Bible Study. I will get out of my car, punch in my secret code, return to my car and drive into my garage. All the while I will have a smile on my face because I know that Life is good. My new twenty to thirty year old male heart will provide the oxygen that my mind, my lungs and my limbs need to function and I will walk inside my house, close the door and never look back. I guess you can say that I have recently added a new component to my daily garage door ritual!