Change is inevitable. Just when you think you’re getting comfortable transition occurs. If you treat tomorrow as if it was yesterday, then you will miss out on the value of transitions. We tend to think that people go through seasons of transition and seasons of staying the same. However, everyone, including you, is constantly changing!
Our emotions, bodies, minds, relationships and environments are continually transitioning. That couldn’t be more evident than right now during this COVID-19 pandemic. The reality that everyone and everything is in transition is obvious. Protocols and procedures for medical personnel and other first responders are in transition. Businesses are in transition. Churches are in transition. Restaurants only serve curbside. School is online. Nothing is static. Everybody and everything is in transition. And, you were created to be dynamic. Once we accept this, we’ll be able to make the most of the change happening right now—today!
This season of our lives, our community, our country and our world is unique and unsettling. But the truth is, while we notice it more and it has all transitioned quickly and significantly in a short period of a few weeks, everything has always been in transition. You are not what you were yesterday. Tomorrow will be different than today. I’m thinking differently now than I did a few months ago. I’m responding to people different than I did a few weeks ago. I value my face-to-face connections to my family differently than I did a month ago. I now see the importance of certain routines and practices that I previously took for granted. Because, I’m in transition.
Think about it. My mind is in transition. My body is in transition (I have more wisdom highlights in my hair than I had a year ago). My emotions are in transition. My relationships are in transition. My marriage is in transition. My children and grandchildren are in transition. Literally, everything around me is in transition. However, when I become conscious of the reality that everyone around me is also in transition, it helps immensely. We are in this transition time together.
There’s something about life where it refuses to keep you in a stagnant place. Life is often a rollercoaster of ups and downs, a ride of love, laughter and tears. Whether you’re preparing for a new baby, about to make a career leap, taking care of your parents, or emerging from the ashes of a relational wreck, life is always prodding and pulling on us to grow. Either you will get complacent or life will force you to make a maneuvering change. Many of us have been rudely required to a transition we didn’t invite or welcome.
But let me suggest this, while there’s a learning curve to preparing for the sometimes sudden transitions in life, expecting change will come is half of the battle. All good comfort zones must come to an end. Life will never let you get too comfortable and just when you think you have everything all figured out, you will be confronted with something that challenges your coveted, familiar comforts. The worst thing we can do is get complacent and comfortable, because that usually means life is coming to shake things up. This time around, we have been in a shake-up that most of our world never saw coming.
This is what helps me most during transition. We have a God whom we can turn to that understands our reluctance toward change. James, the brother of Jesus wrote, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” James 1:17. God’s character never changes. He is always good, faithful, caring and the ultimate example of love. His power never changes. His promises never change. His purpose never changes. And, He will always provide the anchors of strength, safety, stamina and serenity for us when we lean into Him.
Transition and change? Don’t fight back, but instead give in. Don’t keep reaching and stretching back for the past. Instead, move along with the changes and transitions. You’ll be a much healthier person. Learn to channel all the emotional energy over the anxiety of change into productive energy that propels you onto the next level. There is no growth in comfort. There is no growth without change. Embracing transition is never easy but always good for us.
P.S. – One of my mentors, Sam Chand, wrote a great blog on mastering eight types of transition several months ago. Here’s the link: Mastering Transition