Now What?

(July 5, 2017)

So much of our lives are in transition right now, aren’t they? We, as a country, are really feeling the effects of the beginning of a new administration in Washington after eight years with a different person; the world is feeling some angst about North Korea and some other hotspots; our churches continue to change — New Life is preparing for its final worship service in its building this Sunday while South is getting settled into its new offices at Twelve Corners. From what I hear, many of us are going through times of transition in our own lives right now, too: graduations … home renovations … hospitalizations and surgeries … anniversaries of losses … starting new jobs. The list seems endless.

One of the daily meditations I commend to your attention is the Daily Word from Unity. I have it (and about three or four other things) delivered to my inbox every morning, and today, I opened it to find this:

Working through Transitions

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

During the pause between achievements, many people begin to question what their life is about.

The elation we feel when we have learned an important lesson, achieved a goal, or had a big breakthrough can sometimes be met with a period of downtime afterward. During this period of transition, we may feel unsure and not know where to turn next. Many people, during the pause between achievements, begin to wonder what their life is about. These feelings are common and strike everyone from time to time. Human beings are active creatures–we feel best when we are working on a project or vigorously pursuing a goal. But there is nothing inherently wrong with spending a day, a week, or even a month simply existing and not having a plan. Just be. It won’t be long before you embark upon your next voyage of growth and discovery.

The quiet lull into we which we fall between ideas, projects, and goals can make life seem empty. After accomplishing one objective, you may want to move immediately on to the next. However, when your next step is unclear, you may feel frustrated, disconnected, or even a mild depression. You may even perceive your lack of forward momentum as an indicator of imminent stagnation. To calm these distressing thoughts, try to accept that if your intent is personal growth, you will continue to grow as an individual whether striving for a specific objective or not. Spending time immersed in life’s rigors and pleasures can be a cathartic experience that gives you the time you need to think about what you have recently gone through and leisurely contemplate what you wish to do next. You may also find that in simply being and going through the motions of everyday life, you reconnect with your priorities in a very organic, unforced way.

The mindful transitional pause can take many forms. For some, it can be a period of reflection that helps them understand how their life has unfolded. For others, it can be a period of adjustment, where new values based on recent changes are integrated into daily life. Just because you’re not headed swiftly to a final destination doesn’t mean you should assume that you have lost your drive. The stage between journeys can become a wonderful period of relaxation that prepares you for the path that will soon be revealed to you.

When I was working with my Spiritual Director for several years, she always began with a prayer that invariably included the words, “thank you, God, that Deb has carved out this time to deepen her relationship with you.”

Carving out the time is a phrase that always struck me because that is exactly how it felt sometimes. Life is so busy … it’s often so complex that we think we have to keep going at a fast pace or we will get run over by the sheer force of the movement.

NOT SO!

Whether we are pausing between the successes of major changes, or we are carving out time during the harried moments when transitions are at their fullest capacity, it is important that we take time to breathe and reflect. Even if it’s 5 minutes every day. Could be when you’re walking … waiting for someone to arrive somewhere (go a little early so you build in the alone-with-God time) … or standing in the checkout line. PAUSE.  Be MINDFUL of what’s going on … what you’re feeling … and ask yourself: Where is God touching my life right now?

I’m finding that when I do that I have the answer and the direction to what it is I’m supposed to do next.

Try it.

See what you think and then let me know.

Blessings on your day,

Pastor Deb