Monday, May 20, 2013

Transitions

 

 Transitions
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.”

3 comments:

  1. Yes! I too feel I am "a 'my cup is half full' kind of guy”. I know patience, particularly waiting on the Lord is always rewarding, bringing the best of outcomes, regardless the seriousness! Some say I am too rational but I see being "too" rational ( if there is such a state") not as a negative; rather I see it as a positive. For me it seems to induce a calm, and that leads me to a time to really take in what has happened, discover whether it is really so bad and regardless and most importantly, "how to turn the negative into a positive".

    Tragic circumstances I too know can never be erased, the pain just dulls. And one hopefully finds ease in using the story and circumstance to help another who may be facing or anticipating a similar experience. But whatever the time, there is always an opportunity to seek His guidance, follow the path and remind ourself that "after even a harsh storm a rainbow will come".

    God is Blessing all, always
    Jan-Michael

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  2. PS to my earlier post. I only had 1 job loss, that after 20 yrs. I did however find that all I had gained in 20 years had me well prepared for change to new opportunities. It was hard to initially see myself anywhere than where I had settled well, (too well?), but in accepting the loss, I found God showed me greater opportunities that I maybe could have missed if not for the forced change. I realized I had a chance to set a new way to spend more time with my family, take a break while finding what I really might find more engaging in my work-life. I did find a better job, more opportunities within that job and I have also been able to share with others my actual positive success (from job loss and initial worry/ disappointment) to a more fulfilling career .

    Later on, I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and had to go onto Perm Total Disability from my work. Doctors said I was just in denial when I did not take the news sitting down (laying down). I said I will walk again and see better and speak more clearly. "Just watch me" I thought! So, yes I have a cane, a scooter, special glasses that remove blue light to give definition, and it took therapy and practice to speak normally though I have no sensory feeling on my right side, but planning my time, taking a few rests in the day and I am good to go and who would not not actually like a few pauses and quiet periods each day? Again, I have been able to listen to others devastated by illness and share my thoughts and experience that had me realize "HE will get us through whatever we are going through" as you wrote in one of your books Robert. I feel Blessed by God and blessed as you post encouraging blogs on this site or talk encouragingly on "The Call", monthly.

    Jan-Michael

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  3. As you so well said in the interview at CC, everything is another transition. Even the Crystal Cathedral was a transition from the Drive-In on the otherwise undeveloped land and that replaced your father's church on Chapman which replaced the....well you said it all so well. And it fitted well with this blog of life always a transition I see as from birth to toddler to youth, from one house to a new home but Church is not the building but as you said, it meets the needs of the congregants, which as a body of worshipers is The Church. A gr8 interview and talk between Bobby and you with such encouraging words as The CC becomes The Shepherd's Grove I gather. I generally follow Bobby on Tree of Life which I get on Mondays here in Toronto, Canada but tune in to HoP Fridays as I did a couple of days ago. Wow, that was a large thank you you received and wish I had been there. Congratulations Robert and I'll be listening in on "The Call" June 15!

    God is Blessing all, always

    Jan-Michael

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