Living at the convergence of faith and art.

Transitions: A Blessed Challenge

Lews DeskI believe each of us is in fact a collection of creative harmonies; we each have many roles to fulfill; we move through the space and time of life, adding to and dropping from, we develop connections which come and go as needs dictate, we grow up and we grow older helping the young behind us and the elderly ahead.

I’m in transition, and it’s such a major phase right now that it’s been thrust to the forefront of my mind.  My wonderful bride of 31-years and I are what’s being called the sandwich generation.  Of course, this too passes, as it’s just a phase.

If all of the planets in our wondrous solar system were to line up, even for a few hours, the gravitational forces would be gigantic.  Some scientists claim it would harm the sun.   Others suggest that the smaller planets could be pulled completely out of orbit, ending in their colliding with the gas giants of Saturn and Jupiter.

Transitions are wondrous and difficult because I’m asked to let go of that which has passed into memory, embrace what’s at hand, and contemplate the needs of the future.  We all do this.  I’m not complaining; no, I’m simply aware of these transitions because so very much has happened all at once in the last few years.  I find the orbit of my own life is becoming more elliptical, even eccentric.

In 2006 the breath of God visited our driveway toppling a 3-ton eucalyptus, which took out the power lines, and both (yes, I said both) cars in a single blow.  Also, the first of my three homeschool students graduated.  In 2007, with the help of a few loyal friends, we closed a theatre company, and we found a loving home for our dear Grandma.  In 2008 my second homeschool student graduated, leaving only one remaining.  In 2009 we moved in with my father-in-law to make it possible for him to remain at home in safety and happiness.  Now he’s gone, and we’re taking care of things here.

You’ve all had these transitions.  Some of you have endured far heavier loads, for far longer, at far higher cost than we have.  I embrace you.  I admire you.  If I may say so, I love you.  This is life, and as a child I watched the adults around me stand-to and meet each other’s needs, often without complaint or a second thought.  Now  it’s our turn, and with all challenges, we’re finding the blessed treasures hidden away in each experience.

When you hold the little tiny frail hand of a Grandma who no longer knows you, but she still sings her favorite songs from her youth, it fills your heart.  When friends rally round and find newer, better cars to replace the ones killed by your falling tree, it fills your heart.  When daily you watch a fragile Grandpa glow with joy as he directs your pushing his wheelchair through a favorite museum, it fills your heart.  When your children receive, from your hand, a diploma from their homeschool and set off in life, it fills your heart.  When you find your bride crying with stress at so much change, and you two cry together to feel better, it fills your heart.  God’s love is there in ALL of it, and so are these, His treasures.

Thank God life changes.  Thank God for the various opportunities we have to lovingly look after and care for one another.  Our lives are so much richer because of it.  We are privileged to be present for births, deaths, celebrations and sufferings.  It’s all there to be endured, lived, experienced, remembered, and savored.

I can no more control how many transitions come into my life at any time, any more than I can affect the movement of the planets.  I just have to take them as they come and peer into each as an opportunity to serve, to love, to grow, and to glorify God.

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