Transition: a passing from one condition, form, activity, place, etc. to another; the period of such passing (Webster’s New World Dictionary). Life is full of transitions. Life changes. Babies are born, kids grow up, young people mature, adults move through seasons of life. The average person will change jobs 5 to 11 times in adulthood, depending on whose statistics you believe. Technology changes at warp speed. Information overload is smothering us. Life happens, ready or not. Death occurs, ready or not.
Life progresses and we worry about different things. You could follow an interesting trail by focusing on something like hair. A baby is born: “He sure doesn’t have much hair.” The toddler has a head full of curls: “When will he get his first haircut?” The teenager displays some attitude: “Is there something living in that mess on top of your head?” The young man readies for an important interview: “What does my hair have to do with making a good impression?” A middle age guy checks out the mirror: “Where did all that gray hair come from?” An old dude walks by: “He sure doesn’t have much hair.”
Having a strong sense of self-worth helps. Hugh O’Brian is a name baby boomers will remember. He played Wyatt Earp on television along with starring in movies and on Broadway. Reminiscing over his career, he made this observation: “You go through at least five stages in my business and in life. First stage – “Who is Hugh O’Brian?” Second stage – “Get me Hugh O’Brian!” Third stage – “Get me a Hugh O’Brian type!” Fourth stage – “Get me a younger Hugh O’Brian!” Fifth stage – “Who is Hugh O’Brian?”
Transitions can be tough. We cope in different ways. You’ve heard the saying: “The older I get, the better I was.” Some of us turn to fantasy. Others of us are trapped in the past by memories that can overwhelm us with regret and pain. Some of us seek to relive the glory days, not wanting to realize the glory days won’t be coming back.
Paul had a definite approach to transitions in his life. He wrote to the Philippians: “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (3:13,14).
Today is too important and tomorrow is too promising to live in yesterday. Jesus told us that each day has enough challenge of its own (Matthew 6:34). Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!