Home > Uncategorized > treading on the trauma of transition

treading on the trauma of transition

(My family suggested I go back and gather some of my old blogs from the ECF website.  I’ll do that every now and then when the urge hits me)

You’ve seen it haven’t you?  I’ve watched it countless times.  Having grown up in a small community that was fortunate to have a public swimming pool, lots of kids spend their summer days hanging out at the pool.  It seemed daily that there was another 5, 6 or 7 year old kid who climbed the 3 meter diving board to make that inaugural leap of faith into the sparkling bed of liquid blue diamonds.  It always played out the same…the slow climb to the top, a parent, a brother or sister on the side of the pool chattering away encouragement or rebuke, the shuffle towards the end of the handrail and ultimately that last couple of steps to the end of the diving board.  It was at the end of that sandpaper textured plank where a decision had to be made.   What didn’t look so high from the side of the pool, now appears to be a sure free-fall into nothing larger than a toilet bowl.  Fear sets in.  The mind squeals that death is probably certain.  Knees knock, a war with the will ensues and some actually back away, grab the rail and shimmy back down the ladder.  The pool I grew up at wouldn’t allow the back-track to the ground.  Jumping off was the only exit.  Tears would show up and many a lifeguard actually had to climb up the ladder and enforce the poor kid’s plight.   Plenty of fingernail has been gnawed up there, but ultimately the leap of faith, leap of terror, leap of freedom and conquest of the goal ensued.  It was rare for a kid not the march straight back to the line and “do it again”.  But the first time to pursue the unknown is sobering and can be quite life changing.

We’ve been talking a lot about “transition” around ECF.  It does seem that the whole world is in movement with some kind of divine orchestration for change.  Hindes brought a great message when he was here.  Most sermons for the past few months are saturated with the ingredients of transition and change.  We are in “it” and we know it.  Wished that made it easier!

Jesus went thru something very similar with his disciples.  For three years he hung out with his boys.  They saw first-hand what only the rest of the world has read about.  They knew him, how he smelled, what he liked to eat, knew that he had a different way of looking at people.  You couldn’t guess in a million years how he was going to respond to anything.  He had changed their world and every one had an opinion about Jesus.  The buzz of living around Him was like a drug.  Like him, love him, hate him…you knew when He was around or engaged in a moment…anything could happen.   Life was good.  Life was crazy.  People everywhere were clamoring for something from him.  It was intoxicating and draining at the same time.  Quiet with Jesus was so precious.  His undivided attention to a question or issue had to be like liquid gold.  What a ride for a bunch of goobers He called to follow him!

The most familiar text in His transition speech is found in John 14. It’s emotional enough, but Peterson’s way puts a little sugar in the medicine.  It goes down pretty smooth.  “Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me.  There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you?  And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live.  And you already know the road I’m taking.”  Thomas said, “Master, we have no idea where you’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?”  Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”  Philip said, “Master, show us the Father; then we’ll be content.”  “You’ve been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act.  “Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see – these works.  The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it.  From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it.  Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.  “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.  I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you.  This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!  I will not leave you orphaned.  I’m coming back.  In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive.  At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.”

I have to believe that Jesus knew exactly what the boys needed to hear!  I also have to believe that he had total confidence in their ability to transition into their destiny without becoming emotional mush in ladder climbs and shuffles across narrow and shaky planks.  Without saying it, He tells them that they need to grow up in their faith, assume some responsibility for the plan and to become “effectual doers” of the Word!  Not easy words for them to process back then.  Not easy words for us now considering our fragile narcissistic culture.  BUT, He knows.  He knows everything.  Everyone one of us has to let go of a rail that directs us back down a trail to our past and what appears to be the illusion of safety.  The leap requires faith and a stomach for a little free falling!  Yippers, we’ve never been here before.  But, we had never been to the last place we just came from either.  IT IS time to go.  It is time to jump.  It is time to put it all out there on the edge.  It really is time to allow Father God to be OUR Father.  I say we jump!  I say we find out.  I say we obey the passion inside of us for what He has promised.  Up we go..toes to the end…lean into it…launch yourself…enjoy the ride!

Oh yeah…it helps to scream…”CANNONBALL!”


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Michael
    March 2, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Awesome post – read it before I think..

    Love you my friend…

  2. Cherrie
    March 2, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Awesome!! Just what I needed to hear today. Thanks Papa Mike.

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