Friday, October 19, 2007

Transition and Tension

Transition sucks. I’m in it and I don’t like it ... that phase in the birth process right before the “push” where every part of the mother’s body is preparing to bring little Suzy into the world - but it’s not fun! I was there when Shelley gave birth to my kids and transition sucked for her! It wasn't fun for the kids either. Heads all pointy, (it hurts when a human head is being squeezed by one the strongest muscle groups in the human body!), goop all over them, feeling cold for the first time, struggling for breath … ya, no fun. Now, looking at my awesome kids, I’m thankful for transition.

I'm in transition – have been for the last three years or so. I know because I feel the tension – not only squeezing my head, but that too! Sometimes I feel cold and gooey, and I struggle to breathe. (Wonder what my head will look like when I’m through this particular ‘muscle group?’ It freakin’ hurts!) The tension probably exists because of the distance between what I want and what is right. I can’t know until it’s over. Either I embrace it and try to squeeze every once of learning from it (oh that’s easy!). Or I continue to resist it and let it squeeze the hell out of me! Wait, maybe that’s the purpose of transition. Anyway, resisting is like running from the Borg.

I need certain things to happen; stuff relating to life, my concept of order, ministry realignment; resolution for some of my friends, for my staff, and stuff for my kids. Then there’s the stuff I don’t want, like facing the death of my dreams, feeling the shock of what greatness really is (now that's cold!) and beginning to realize the kind of world my kids are inheriting - not handling that well either. I don’t always get what I want, and sometimes I get what I really don’t want! That blows too, or so it seems. I’ll let you know soon as I know.

It’s the philosophy of the rubber band: it’s all about the tension. If I don’t learn to manage it, something shoots-off in an uncontrolled direction or breaks and can't be repaired. Sucks again. Following Christ seems a lot like that - flesh and spirit always fighting - as Jesus leads me through the tension of transition until I’m eventually remade in His likeness – that’s a birth canal of a whole different kind! I gotta tell ya, I’m squirming! “Rod, just relax! Let the tension of HIS will shape your freedom to choose what is right, not what you want!” Good advice says the brighter side of my brain …now just try and do it!

In transition right now? How's your head feel? I’m just observing, and I have little wisdom, but I think we should probably all just hang on and learn to manage the tension. Maybe something will be born; caused to incubate in our own spirit, brought to life because we struggled with it - and against it (!) - but birth only happens after transition, right?.

We should compare notes more often - you know, swap stories. We could travel together for awhile. We all walk together anyway; really it’s just pride and geography that separate us.

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