I remember the adventure of childhood when risks were normative and leaps of faith were apart of daily living. Comparing with adults, think about the amount of changes that occur in the life of a child in such a short time span. Sure we change from high school to college, single life to married life, newlyweds to parenthood, but think about the rapid and extreme transitions in the life of a child.
I mean imagine the transition of birth! My sister is having a baby soon and for some weird strange reason I started thinking about what I would feel like as a new born. It’s probably the most outrageous transition you have ever gone through in your entire life (the next closest being puberty of course :).
Think about leaving a nice moist, warm and provisional environment and suddenly having to adapt to a cold, painful world where all you hear is your screaming mother and all you feel is plastic gloves and dry rough cloths. Even being held in your mothers arms doesn’t compare to where you once were. Imagine having to start crawling and the extreme liberty in getting around by yourself, picture taking your initial steps and the first instance of fear that comes with the idea of “falling down”. Imagine experiencing, for the first time, jealously when you watch your mother holding another baby, or the feeling of inadequacy watching your new born brother getting the compliments once given to you. I was blown away when I went through all the possible feelings I would go through NOW if similar transitions took place in my life.
My current insecurities, limited faith and perseverance honestly would probably not be able to sustain me through the life of a child. It was as if from birth God gave us this supernatural ability to overcome the overwhelming complications and changes of childhood. He gave us the clarity of mind to trust the pure impulses inside that pushed us to endure the uncomfort and pain of birth, to overcome the fear of falling while taking our first steps, and to command our father to let go of the seat so we could ride without training wheels.
But the question is, why does transition become so much more complicated as we age? How could we lose the faith that got us through birth, walking and training wheels? What virtue was taken a way from our childhood character?
There is something about a child’s character that can give us the remedy in dealing with transition.
As children we somehow had this confidence that our next transition was absolutely imminently necessary. As children we just knew that change is necessary, and that refusal to change would be destructive. We somehow accepted the uncomfort, pain and fear that came along with transition. Adults have become too smart for their own good in calculating the costs of change. They remain in mediocrity so they can avoid the risks. But the problem with this mentality is that change is no option. We’ve created this false idea that refusing to change wasn’t going to alter our current state, that our boat would not be rocked if we did nothing at all.
We’re Always Moving
A quote by C.S Lewis states that if we aren’t growing closer to the Lord, we are in fact drifting away (paraphrased :). In the same way, life is either moving towards one goal or towards another. A life with no goal does not exist. The concept of being in ‘limbo’ is a made up construct to justify an undecided mind. Many think that they are NOT taking certain courses of action towards a destination when they are in fact simply living a certain way that leads them to an end point that they have yet to identify. Therefore, the unidentified end point is no less of a destination then one who is certain about where he is going. Indecisiveness does not make time stand still. The failure to know where you are going does not mean you are not moving a certain direction, it only means that you have yet to identify a goal.
The positive side of this thinking is that our inability to commit to one path is actually solidifying our committed to another. Explaining to others that you do not want to be a doctor, lawyer or dentist simply narrows the degree of your pathway. Many find there goals through the process of elimination. They catch themselves constantly bumping into the walls of their path until their road is finally narrow and focused. The bumps we call ‘failure’ eliminates the confusion of aimless living and establishes a firm stance on which directions not to go.
Capitalization on Change through Adaptation
A.R. Bernard states that “Change is the only constant in life”. If we can understand the reality and inevitability of change, we will more rapidly come to terms with the difficult transitions we will have to face. Once we come to terms with change, we will discover the beauty of transition. We will observe the growth, maturity and power of being able to easily adapt to different settings, environment, people and occupations. There is a wealth of language in transition, a language that speaks to a wider audience and that comes from an exposed mind. There is a humility in transition that is attained by the constant enlightenment that comes with entering new paradigms and world views. Transition is a beauty part of the journey.
Transition should not be premature and should never be an escape from our current commitment, but that conversation is for another blog. Today I hope that I can encourage you all to break away from the fear of change and dare to step into transition if you are at the edge of your current platform. Be like a child again and break free from routine sometimes, make a mess, embrace change and stumble into a new world of possibilities that will expand you far more than job training can do.