July 2, 2007
by Pastor George Van Alstine
ABC has been going through the experience of saying goodbye to two families, the Eby-McKenzies, who will be leaving soon for exotic Mussoorie, India, and the Dycuses, who have already left for equally-exotic Athens, Georgia. In both cases, theyâve closed up their homes, selling off or storing all their furniture. Itâs taken them weeks, even with the help of many church friends. Theyâre physically worn out, but the emotional drain is even more difficult to endure.
Transitions are always hard. Psychological researchers have even tried to âscoreâ? a certain number of stress points for the various changes people go through. Theoretically, we can only experience so many stress points before we crack in some way.
Annually, June is a time when many people experience important transitions. Of course, itâs the most popular month for weddingsâyou know, June-spoon-swoon-honeymoon. Itâs also the month for graduation from all levels of schools. This means having to make important decisions about college, career, military services, etc. Because their children are between school terms, many families choose the summer to change jobs, which may involve a change in location.
Change is inevitable, so prepare yourself to make your life transitions as positive and constructive as possible. Here are a few words of wisdom Iâve uncovered:
âYou cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are constantly flowing in.â? (Heraclitus, 500 BC)
âItâs not so much that weâre afraid to change or so in love with the old ways, but itâs that place in between that we fear . . . . Itâs like being between trapezes. Itâs Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. Thereâs nothing to hold on to.â? (Marilyn Ferguson)
âItâs impossible to cross a twenty foot chasm in two ten-foot jumps.â? (Unknown)
âThe most successful people are those who are good at Plan B.â? (James Yorke)
âIn times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.â? (Eric Hoffer)
âThe truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are deeply feeling uncomfortable, unhappy or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.â? (M. Scott Peck)
As believers, we have a crucial additional reality in our lives. God is always there, and he is the one stable factor we can count on not to change:
âGod is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumultâ?. (Psalm 46:1-3)