I aspire to have the temperament of my old GPS. If I ever went astray on my journey, like the voice of a gentle spirit, she would simply say, “recalculating.”
Transitions are a time to recalculate our journey. Every transition is both a beginning and an ending. Perhaps, like me, you’re going through a significant life change after years of stability. Whatever your transition, I want to propose three G.P.S. coordinates that can help us all navigate these turning points in life.
Transitions don’t often come with a clear set of directions. But neither does Jesus. The Apostle Thomas once earnestly asked Jesus, “How can we know the way?” Jesus cryptically replied, “I am the way…”
Jesus is the Way of Grace. Be gracious to others who don’t share your excitement about blazing trails onto the frontiers of God’s expansive kingdom. Be gracious to yourself when you fall short of your lofty ideals. Jesus is the way, and Jesus is gracious.
Jesus is the center of our faith and yet we still need fellow pilgrims on this journey. In this time of ideological polarization, face-to-face community can build our empathy, sharpen our convictions, and refine our commitment to a cruciform mission. Transitions mean saying fare-well to some relationships we once found safe and reassuring.
Consider unplugging from social media during moments of transition. One pitfall of virtual community is that we may be lured by the nostalgia of a past that is nevermore and miss the vista of a beautiful tomorrow that is dawning.
Simplicity is an inward reality. This inner freedom can help buffer against the anxiety that often accompanies transitions. Identify your core values and then align your commitments and limited time to those ideals. There is a freedom in saying “yes” to a few important things, including rest, and a grace in saying “no” to that which makes life a burden or a distraction.
Transitions are liminal spaces filled with the potential for new life. Let grace, people, and simplicity be your companions. And if you stray, listen for the Spirit’s gentle voice say to you, “recalculating.”