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, they’ve closed up their homes, selling off or storing all their furniture. It’s taken them weeks, even with the help of many church friends. They’re physically worn out, but the emotional drain is even more difficult to endure.

Transitions are always hard. Psychological researchers have even tried to “scoreâ€? 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, it’s the most popular month for weddings—you know, June-spoon-swoon-honeymoon. It’s 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 I’ve uncovered:

“You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are constantly flowing in.â€? (Heraclitus, 500 BC)

“It’s not so much that we’re afraid to change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear . . . . It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.â€? (Marilyn Ferguson)

“It’s impossible to cross a twenty foot chasm in two ten-foot jumps.â€? (Unknown)

“The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B.â€? (James Yorke)

“In 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)

“The 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:
“God 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)