I’m investigating gate vendors for the Public Works shop area. Not just any gate will do, mind you. I need an electronic gate, one that slides open and closed. Right now, we have a swing gate with a padlock. I know because I drive through them every day, and I’ve been locked in before. Turns out after a certain time of day, everyone goes home. It’s like a ghost town. It’s empty and eerie.
I like gates in general. They keep you safe, especially if a guard is attached. They keep out bad guys and Fuller Brush salesmen. I especially like iron gates with ornamentation. They become sculptural elements, a work of art you get to see daily. I don’t think we’ll have anything as ornate as the one above, with scrolls and flourishes, for the Public Works area. Though it would add a certain élan to the space, I think.
Gates open and close. They create inclusivity and exclusivity. They keep us safe and they keep us out. They swing out and back in. Some places we can go freely. The gates stand open all the time. Our homes welcome us after a long day away. No gate needed, only a house key. Other places, like parks, get roped off after sundown. No entry. And no dogs off leash, either.
Seasons in our lives are marked by gates. These are gates we step past, intangible and invisible to the naked eye. When we’re kids, we go to school five days a week. Then we move on to the next phase. We work a job until we can’t/don’t want to anymore or we win the lottery. The gate of old opportunities and obligations clanks behind us, shutting off continuing access. A former era ends and a new one begins.
Each new day is a gate. We wake up to it each morning. The day dawns and we walk out into it. We don’t know how many gates we have in this life but as long as the gate is open, we keep moving forward. Jesus is an open gate to all who find him: Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me (John 14:6). The great thing about Jesus’ gate is it always stands ajar, ready for any who want Him to enter.