In writing, transitions help establish logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, and ideas. They go a long way in helping create a piece of writing that flows. Unfortunately, many writers neglect spending much time on transitions.
“Often, writers work on scenes but neglect transitions.” (10 Steps to Perfecting Your Writing Style)
Transitions in our lives really aren’t much different from transitions in writing. They help us handle change by connecting one area of life to another. Transitions help us move along and make progress rather than living a stuck life. They serve to create a unified whole.
When I relate how scenes in a story work as related to life, I think of the seasons of life and how I expect or picture them to play out. Those scenes get my focus, and I often forget that my mind, body, and spirit need time to adjust from one season to the next.
Without proper transitions, I resist the change that comes with every new season even when it’s expected. When embraced, transitions help me adjust as life’s seasons move from one into another. They help me learn and grow within and through the change.
Transitions do this by drawing me into the wisdom necessary to navigate the progression of life’s changing seasons. They increasingly connect me with God and His plans for every season of my life.
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Old Testament scholar Walter Bruggemann describes change and transition as a process where we go from being orientated where we feel secure to being disoriented and in a state of insecurity. As we successfully transition and let Jesus anchor us and give us meaning, we become secure again and find a state of new orientation.
Successful transitions require that we take steps to get and stay anchored in Christ even as the change around us makes the seas of life choppy and overwhelming. Those include:
- Waiting. Letting God work out the details and orchestrate the transition.
- Praying. Talking out struggles with God and listening for his wisdom.
- Focusing. Reading about hope as detailed in Scripture.
- Praising. Staying thankful and grateful regardless of surrounding circumstances.
- Preparing. Waiting in the activity God gives us to do during the transition.
Transition can be thought of as a state of progress toward perfection. We won’t be perfect until heaven, but the seasons of change in our lives are the path in our journey toward that final destination.
“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day.” (Psalm 25:5)
A life of forward progress requires that we realize change is inevitable and the key to growing through it lies within the transitions. Neglecting the transitions in our lives usually means a resistance to change, which exists because transitions are often difficult and uncomfortable.
Neglecting transitions skips over that which is necessary for us to connect with God and to embrace the changing seasons as he has made them. Without transitions, we find ourselves overwhelmed by change. Eventually, if we fail to transition, we end up living life like we’re drowning in a sea of change that’s swallowing us up. At some point, we’ve simply given up trying to swim.
That’s no way to live. What’s more, we’re not meant to live that way. God has a better way.
“A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)