At times, God opens a door and invites you to walk through—into the unknown. Whether you stay where you are or venture forth will determine the kind of life you live and the kind of person you become. The ability to recognize doors—to discover the range of possibilities that lie before you—is a skill that can be learned. It brings the possibility of God’s presence and power into any situation. As you make plans for 2017, consider what doors He may be opening in your life.

If you had to summarize your life in six words, what would they be?

Several years ago an online magazine asked that question. It was inspired by a possibly legendary challenge posed to Ernest Hemingway to write a six-word story that resulted in the classic “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

The magazine was flooded with so many responses that the site almost crashed, and the responses were eventually turned into a book. Not Quite What I Was Planning is filled with six-word memoirs by writers “famous and obscure.” The memoirs range from funny to ironic to inspiring to heartbreaking:

  • “One tooth, one cavity; life’s cruel.”
     
  • “Savior complex makes for many disappointments.”
     
  • “Cursed with cancer. Blessed with friends.” (This one was written not by a wise, old grandmother but by a nine-year-old boy with thyroid cancer.)
     
  • “Not a good Christian, but trying.”
     
  • “Thought I would have more impact.”