Thursday, August 16, 2007

Word of the Week: Transitions

Transition: (from the Latin "a crossing over") a movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another

I keep coming across this word or idea, like here and here and here. And last week at the writers' conference, one editor stressed the importance of transitions in our writings, as we attempt to move our readers along in thought process.

If we think about it, life is just a series of transitions, isn't it? Family dynamics change: one family helps their adult child move into a home of their own while another relocates aging parents to an assisted living facility. Some moms are watching their little peanuts head off to school for the first time, while others, having sent their sons or daughters off to college, are faced with a quiet house and wondering where the time went. We move; we change jobs or schools or churches; people move in and out of our lives. Aside from the obvious transitions driven by circumstances and the calendar year, we're also constantly subject to the more subtle transitions of the heart, as the Holy Spirit works in our lives.

How well do I adjust to transitions? The word implies a moving of sorts. I know for me it's possible to make transitions at the external level only. Have I really transitioned or "crossed over" unless I've done so emotionally and spiritually, as well as physically? It reminds me of shifting gears on a manual transmission, which I know little about except that if you don't do it well, something very bad happens to the clutch! I can't get anywhere though, until I'm fully engaged. Thankfully I don't have to go through the transitions alone, I just need to be willing. Ultimately it's the Spirit moving in our hearts that brings us through to the other side.

What transitions are you facing right now? Are you moving - crossing over - in your heart, as well as in your calendar or physical location?