Posted on May 05, 2021 by Jon Brudvig
Transitions are never easy. Are they? Change is often unsettling. It disrupts what is familiar and comfortable. Transitions also involve a lot of work, particularly the heavy lifting required of any move and the emotional energy that we invest in the forging of new relationships. As the unpacking, organizing, and establishing new relationships continues to unfold, the verse from Ecclesiastes 3:1 comes to mind: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
Now that the frenzy surrounding the uncertainty of the call process and the challenging work of transitional ministry has ended, may we, the “called out ones,” embrace the prodding of the Holy Spirit in our shared life together. May we respond to God’s gracious activity in our lives with the generous sharing of the gifts of time, talent, and treasure in support of the ministries and mission that we share.
Yet, even in the midst of the excitement and anticipation that new beginnings bring, many of us also know that while change provides opportunities for celebration — welcoming a new pastor, graduation parties, starting a new job, attending a new school in the fall, or transitioning to a new phase of one’s life journey — change also pushes us out of our comfort zones and drives us into unchartered waters. This uncertainty frightens many of us, so much so that we may find ourselves “stuck in a rut,” unwilling or unable to move forward. Yet, even amid the uncertainty that change often brings, it is important to remember that we do not journey alone. We journey together in community, each one of us called, equipped, and sent by the Holy Spirit to participate in God’s mission for the world.
May the new spring flowers and the change of seasons help us to open ourselves a little more to the new and exciting possibilities that change often brings. One of my favorite authors, Parker Palmer, observes, “I am rarely aware that seeds are being planted. Instead, my mind is on the fact that the green growth of summer is browning and beginning to die … But as I explore autumn’s paradox of dying and seeding, I feel the power of metaphor … On the surface it seemed that life was lessening, but silently and lavishly the seeds of new life were always being sown.”