transition: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. - Ecclesiastes 3:1
Some Thoughts About Transition:
With the sudden announcement last week from the CDC that masks were no longer recommended outside or inside for vaccinated people, a lot of people were caught off guard. It happened so quickly and without hints that it was coming.
With our world beginning to open up, it is clear that we are in a new phase, with some stores/places fully opening while others are still asking people to wear masks and maintain other protocols. Some people are fully ready for these changes; some are still processing what this means for them.
It is a time for transition...and transitions are not easy.
Here are some thoughts about going through a transition:
- Transitions are part of life. The Bible says, "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1. Life is a series of seasons, and we move constantly through the changes from one season to another. We go to elementary school, transition to middle school, transition again to high school, and then to college or off to work, get married, have kids, etc. Everything is a season - even life itself - and transitioning from one season to another is something we learn to adapt to. Our weather now is chilly one day, then hot the next. This will happen off and on until summer really settles in. Transition is simply moving into a new season, including this new one as the world reopens. There is no precedent for this for most of us. It is new. It involves change, and that leads to the next thought.
- Transitions can be hard. After over a year of social distancing, masks, upheaval, vaccinations, learning to work and do school from home, missing out on social interactions, etc, suddenly the world is reopening. Change can be very hard for people. We do not like change for the most part. It is hard to let go of certain things. Fear of change is pretty common. And then there's the fact that some things will never be the same. Getting to a new normal will not be easy. We must gear up for change and remember what the Apostle Paul wrote, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
- Everyone handles transitions differently. Some of us are "jump in the deep end" kind of people; others are "wade into the shallow end." Which one is better? Neither. They are just different. Some people need more time. Some are ready now. Some are excited. Others are afraid. We learn to walk at our own pace. Ask anyone what God is teaching them these days, and many will say, "patience." Transitions teach us patience. The Bible says, "May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy." Colossians 1:11. God gives us strength, endurance, patience, and deep down, joy, especially in the time of transition. Let Him grow these traits in you through this time we are all going through. Be patient with yourself. Be patient with God's leading. Be patient with others. Transitions require patience.
- Transitions push us to really trust God. When our world is turned upside down, we learn more and more of our need for God. He is our constant. He never changes. Through a time of transition it is important to lean more and more on Him, to learn to trust Him more deeply and fully. The path ahead may not seem clear, but He is faithful and true. This too shall pass, our world will change, but He does not change. He is the only sure thing we have. Trust Him to walk you through this. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5,6. Learn to let go of fear and take hold of God.
- Transitions are when we really need each other. This is a time for grace and humility. The Bible says, "Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love." Ephesians 4:2. Transitions are a great time to practice patience with others, to learn to listen, to try to understand, to be humble and think of others before ourselves, to try to put ourselves in other's shoes and see from their perspective. This is our time to shine as followers of Christ. This is exactly the kind of time when we can show the love of Christ to others. So, as we transition to whatever is new, let's do it together, as the body of Christ. We truly need each other.
As we transition together as a church, here is our plan...
For Sunday, May 23, we will ask those in First Service (9am) to wear a mask. For the Second Service (11am), masks will be optional.
Each week we will make an assessment of how things are going, adapt as needed, and communicate any changes to you until we have reached a new normal.
Online services will continue into the future. This has been a great open door to connect with new people. God is still working!
Thank you for your patience and steadfastness through this past year. You are a great church, loving and sacrificial. May God lead us all through this transition period and beyond. We are praying for you.