I think we can say with confidence we have made the transition from Spring to Summer. It’s May 13 and it is 88 degrees. Some of us thought we would never see Winter leave, but eventually Spring bested Winter and the snow melted and the dogwoods bloomed. Now we move from Azalea’s to Hydrangea’s.
Like the seasons, with life we should expect transitions and changes. Transition is constant. From infancy to childhood, from high school to college, from single to married, from childless to assembling a crib, from first career to second. It never stops. Even in the end there is one final transition.
This does not mean transitions are easy or always positive. Yet it is a confession transitions cannot be stopped. The arrival can be delayed like our Spring, but it will come. Your child will grow up and you can’t stop it from happening. Your body will begin to wear out and you can fight all you want and delay it as much as possible, but it will happen.
The author of Ecclesiastes describes it as follows, “there is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven: a time for birth, a time for dying,” and the list continues. From a “time to embrace” to a “time dancing,” apparently there are more than four seasons, they are endless.
From where we sit when a tree moves from winter to spring it gains. When it moves from fall to winter it would seem it loses. But look closer. Obviously the shape of the tree changes as it passes through the seasons, but the tree remains–similar. More leaves or less leaves does change the appearance but the essence of what makes it a tree is undisturbed.
Our circumstances change, the number of people in our home goes up or down, the emotion we feel evolves, but much remains the same. It is this balance that allows us to approach transition with an open mind. To continue the tree metaphor consider this. The roots remain the same, while the branches transition. It is strong roots which allow the tree to be strong in spite of its evolving appearance.
So the trick to moving through the passing of time would appear to have strong roots. Yet far too often people are pruning, looking, and obsessing about the branches when our attention should be on the roots. When transitions and change become unsettling to us the place to examine is our roots.
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:8 NIV).