The school buses are back. This week, during my commute to work, I found myself yielding extra space to the large yellow carriers of our children as they make their way to school to learn and grow.
It is a sign that the season has changed. The long, warm days of summer are vanishing, to be replaced by cooler days of fall.
We are in days of transition.
According to Dictionary.com, the word transition means “movement, passage, or change from one stage to another.”
Life is full of transitions. In our family, we just this week brought our oldest son to Tacoma, Washington for his first year of college. Our family finds ourselves hip-deep in transition, and there are huge implications:
- The money we’ll save on food.
- The (much more) money we’ll spend on tuition.
- The redistribution of family chores among 3 of us instead of 4.
- The dog, wandering around the house confused, wondering where the human who liked to wrestle with him went.
And of course, just the fact that we’ll miss him. There is almost always emotion that accompanies transition.
I am reminded this week that transition is nothing to fear; in fact, it happens all the time. We experience job transitions, school transitions, climate transitions, political transitions, friendship transitions, marriage transitions, transitions of life and death… the list goes on and on and on.
Transitions are not to be feared. In fact, they are to be embraced, because they transition almost always gives us an opportunity to grow into something new.
After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, God’s people were poised to enter the promised land, the land that God would give to them; the land “flowing with milk and honey.” But after 40 years, God’s people had gotten used to wandering, and the prospect of settling in this land brought anxiety. It would be a huge transition. And Moses, who had led them these 40 years and who they trusted had died, and Joshua was now leading them. God spoke to Joshua, and God said “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
And Joshua led the people into this new land that God has promised to them.
In this season of transition and in the seasons that you will experience, know that you are not alone. God goes with you. And God’s words to Joshua that day are also God’s Words to you today. God reminds us to not be afraid or discouraged, for the “Lord God is with you wherever you go.”
Walk boldly with God, wherever transition takes you.
This post originally appeared in the “Pastor’s Perspective” column of the Owatonna People’s Press on September 7, 2019