Just a few moments ago there was a loud knock on the front door. This is odd. I work from home. Everyone knows we only use the backdoor here.

When I open the door, I’m relieved to see it’s just a salesman. I’m just happy it’s not an election year politician or pesty Jehovah’s witness. Those groups seem to have a passion for my front porch.

His intro was weak and, perhaps purposefully, a bit confusing. He acted as though I should know who he is, which was clever, cause I found myself asking questions.

“Where are you from?” – I’m a college student from Minnesota.

“Are you with the schools?” –No

“What are you selling?” –Educational Supplies

I tried to be nice, explaining I’m at work right now and can’t talk. He chatters on and it becomes immediately apparent he’s going to keep talking, to never stop, to take every polite refusal as an opportunity to continue the conversation.

And I admire him for it. He’s doing the hardest job in the world, staring rejection straight in the face and knocking doors in spite of it.

So how do I handle this plucky young man?  Simple. I close the door in his face and head back upstairs.

On my way, some of the spring leaves my step. I feel guilty. I should have given him some encouragement. He’s putting in incredible effort and it takes major guts to go door to door.

Then I realize my rejection is a gift. If his goal is to sell stuff and I know I’m not going to buy, then every minute I spend talking to him is a minute of his I’m wasting. How rude!

The moment this young man chooses a path, all other options wink out of existence. Before he knocks on my door, the dream is alive. He can picture me inviting him in and buying a bucketload of books. As long as he doesn’t knock, the dream is still alive.

But that’s all it is, a dream. Some dreams will never become reality. I won’t play for the NBA. I won’t ever pilot the space shuttle. And I am never going to buy anything from a door to door salesman. Never! It’s simply against my philosophy of purchasing. I wait until I need something, then I go looking for it. I never clip coupons. I never pursue sales. I never buy anything when the vendor initiates contact. Never!

There was nothing this 19 year old kid from Minnesota could say to change my mind. And by giving him complete and unequivocal rejection, his dream goes dark. But look at all the other possibilities opening up to him. He can now find a new dream. knock on my neighbor’s door. Enter their life. Maybe sell them a few books.

And on my way up those stairs, heading back to this desk, I realize it doesn’t matter what I think or what I do. This kid from Minnesota is going places. He’s had countless dreams shattered just this morning, yet he keeps knocking.

Because he knows his supply of dreams is endless, but his supply of minutes is not.  And every time he destroys a dream, he finds the freedom to pursue another and another.

But there is a path. There is a door out there just waiting for him. And the more dreams he destroys, the more likely he is to find one that comes to life.  The boy just keeps knocking, and he’s going to find it.