Reflections From The Dining Room Table: Does It Ever End?

Somebody asked me the other day if there is ever a time in life when there are no transitions.  My answer:  transitions are always with you.  People always say that there are two things in life that are guaranteed:  death and taxes.  I disagree.  There are three things that never change, death, taxes and change.  And, I would add, that there is no such thing as successful change without successful transition.  It is a perpetual process of leave-taking and home-coming.

In the past five years, since I started this whole transition thing, I have been in constant transition.  I have experienced health transition, career transition, family transition, retirement transition, cultural transition (Germany), and it never seems to end.  These have been major transitions resulting in change and they have been profound.

What have I learned:

1)  Transition happens and change happens.

2)  Transition and change take an extreme amount of time if one processes them meaningfully.  It is important to explore the great questions and to have those around you that help you think of all the questions and challenge you to answer them authentically.

3)  Transition and change take an extreme amount of energy and can leave one exhausted.  When going through transition and change it is important to get good rest and to do appropriate self-care.

4)  It is helpful to have a team of people who give emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual support.  Transition doesn’t happen as well for those who attempt to go through it alone.

5)  God is fully present in each step of the transition to offer support, love, forgiveness and strength.  God leads, guides and supports through the transitional process when one walks in the Word and partakes of the Sacraments.  God comes to us in the transitions of our lives to remind us that we are whole and complete in Christ.

Transition involves both a dying and rising and each involves the vulnerability of surrender before God.  To change, one must let go of the past vision and embrace the new one.  Transition involves a constant state of discernment as one wonders what to leave behind and what to embrace in the future.

I have been called recently to help a congregation transition into a ministry for the elderly.  I have been involved with supporting those who support those in the transition of deepening dementia.  I have been involved with supporting those with position transitions.  I have been involved with those in spiritual transitions.

It is a privilege to walk with those in transition, but, as a result of my own deepening transitions it has been a privilege to walk with those in pain as well.  May God be in the midst of your transition as well.  That is all for now………..

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