By: Dr. Robert A. Schuller
May 20, 2013
Transitions are one of the few things in life that are guaranteed. They come in so many packages but are always coming. They come wrapped in swaddling cloths or pink slips. They mark the best and the worst. Yet they keep coming with new diagnoses or decisions that change our course. The prophet Isaiah put it this way, “all flesh is grass and all it’s loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades because the breath of the lord blows upon it. Surely the people are grass.”
Isaiah was a “my cup is half empty,” kind of guy; in other words, not the most positive guy in the world. But the idea is still understood. Life is fleeting. The beauty of youth is but a moment in time. We are in constant change and flux. Transition. As the mind grows and matures, the hair turns gray and the skin loose. It is a beautiful orchestra of ebb and flow. Our babies grow into strong men and graceful brides. Outside the perfect scenario, our parents become children again before returning to eternity.
As a “my cup is half full” kind of guy,” I welcome transition and change. I look forward to what is around the next corner. I can easily settle into the comfort of routine but at the same time I am constantly preparing for, looking for that next big transition. Mine is always a combination of hope and excitement mixed in with a pinch of fear and anxiety. But that is for the ones that I know are coming and the ones that I can anticipate and fit into my time line; graduating from school, getting married, having children, starting a new career and planning a wedding, a vacation, or retirement.
But how do you deal with the curve balls in life? How do you deal with shocking news like “Your husband and children where killed in a tragic auto accident.” Your occupation that you spent the past 40 years of your life developing is now a dinosaur, thanks to the Internet or some other new unforeseen technological development. Or you’ve just been told that you have a rare and deadly cancer and now you have a rough road ahead.
These transitions are the ones that test our mettle. They turn juveniles into adults, women into warriors, Christians into Saints, couples into families, employees into entrepreneurs. It all happens in the twinkle of an eye. We are transformed like steel is tempered. It looks the same, smells the same, feels the same but it’s not the same. Tempered steel can forge through most anything while regular steel will bend and break under the pressure. Even ½ empty Isaiah new this. He concluded his 40th chapter about the fragility of grass with these famous words, “Those who wait upon the Lord, will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint.”