Whether it be transition from one occupation to another, from an old house to a new one, or from one church to another...we all face multiple transitions throughout our lives. Some are easy, but many, like transitions from marriage to divorce, living without a deceased spouse, losing a job, and moving are some of the most stressful. Rarely if ever is the transition smooth.
Last week when I arrived in India to spend two weeks preaching and teaching in and around the city of Guntur, I reflected on how we might move through transitions with strength and peace. Once I arrived in this country, I faced various trials as I moved into the country. There were complications with a connection ticket for a domestic flight within India, adjustments to Indian food that I would eat three meals a day, dealing with jet lag, overcoming the language barrier, etc.
Despite the difficulties, I found my self moving through this transition with grace and strength.
Find an anchor - I maintained my daily disciplines as best I was able. When morning came, no matter how tired I felt, I engaged in the same pattern of behavior I do when I am at home in the U.S. Get up. Drink water. Spend time in God's Word. Eat breakfast. Shower. Then begin the rest of the day. My daily discipline became my anchor, my comfort zone, that kept me sane in the midst of all the changes around me.
Trust - Trust that the world, the people around, and God are for me and not against me. I was not facing the difficulties of the transition alone. When I relaxed and let people help me move through the obstacles of transitioning to India, I found a smoother passage.
Rest and refuel. Every transition is stressful to varying degrees. Stress tires us. It is vital to maintain consistent rest and eat good food to keep us feeling healthy and strong. The temptation on vacation or on a trip like I've been on around the world is to eat poorly and to get less sleep. This only makes the stress worse. Finding time to rest and refuel is essential for feeling vital and strong.
The bottom line is this, don't move through transitions accidentally. Move through them with, to the best of your ability, intention. You can't anticipate every twist and turn in the transition from point A to point B, but you can move through those twists with peace and strength.