At different points in our lives, we can find ourselves in a place of transition – an in-between place. Here are three articles on the subject of Personal Transition by Martin Scott looking at the Timing of transition, Grieving the change that transition brings, the fact that transition is often precipitated byCrisisand Leaving and Entering. These will be useful if you are in the process of some form of personal transition. More of Martin’s Blogs can be found at https://3generations.eu/longevity
Personal Transitions: Timings
(Original Post: April, 10 2008)
Issues of timing
When personal transition is on the horizon I expect that we will have some prior ‘warnings’ – these warnings will differ for each individual, but God knows how to stir the nest and unsettle us. We will become aware of changes that are coming. Insecurity can easily arise, but we must not allow uncertainty about the future to make us shrink back. I always find a restlessness and also a number of dreams that also seem to come alive.
I like to compare it to the wind blowing, rattling doors that attract my attention, although the doors that rattle are not always the ones that will open. It is good though to push on those doors and see what lies behind them. Transition is a time when doors that we thought would open actually either close (or prove to have never been open to us) as well as ones open. Not every door that rattles will open – but we take heart as this indicates that doors will open.
The major complication in transition then is to do with the timing. We are not to jump prematurely but the error that is often made is of staying too long. The first three points I made yesterday indicate why it is possible to stay too long:
- transition comes before I am ready for it
- it comes sooner than I expected it
- it comes before I have finished everything I had anticipated completing.
When are we ever ready? When a signifcant transition is taking place the measure of stepping into the unknown will be greater. ‘Just give me some more time…’ is a common response, but in that time an opportunity can be missed to make the transition.
The latter point (‘before I have finished everything’) is a major one to understand. If we have a vision for something to be accomplished and we have only discharged something like 80% of it that still means there is a lot more in our hearts to do. This is why many people hold on too long. Sadly they discover that their fruitfulness diminishes in this latter stage – sometimes even with undoing of what was a positive prior input, and there will be a missed opportunity for personal change. The window for transition does not remain open forever.
It seems to me that God allows us not to finish everything for at least two reasons:
- to deal with self-preservation (internal application)
Every level of moving on means that there has to be a blow to self-preservation. Abraham (father of faith) faced the very big one when he had to offer up the very one that God had given him. That is important as new levels of life come from death; new levels of authority from new levels of submission; new levels of revelation from the response to God in the darkness. We must resist holding on – to position, reputation, anticipation of reward / honour etc… and then there can be the little thing of money…
- to allow seed to go in the ground (external application)
Seed has to be sown and nature tells us that it disappears… it is sown in hope of harvest. Vision that dies is like seed to be sown in the ground. If we see everything fulfilled then we will find it hard to be able to sow for the next season. Sowing in that way is not necessarily joyful but it is necessary, and later when we look back we can see the necessity of the pathway.
Transition is threatening and personally disturbing, but there is an ongoing path with the Lord. Oh and then there is the context for transition: often crisis… something to look forward to in the next post!