Last night Kelly began taking the kids' winter clothes out of their closets and putting them away until cold weather returns--which is always a tricky proposition in Arkansas. It may be 90 degrees next week or it may snow. But we've always been the kind of people who give a strong, Celtic laugh in the face of danger so we're going ahead with the plan.
When you change out the seasonal clothes it's a time of transition. You are transitioning from one season to another, one need to another, one time of year to another. And as I was looking over all the winter stuff I was reminded that all our lives are times of transition. When you're an infant you are transitioning through various stages of helplessness. You transition to a person who can communicate, move about independently, and control your bowels--all of which prove marvelously useful in the years to follow. As you grow older and begin school you are continually transitioning through different grades and different social situations and different friends.
The transitions continue through college as you study a discipline that you'll use to gain employment. Often during this time you transition into marriage. And with time, you'll transition to parenthood (which is often accompanied by frustration-hood, lack of sleep-hood, and extreme gratitude to God for such amazing gifts-hood).
Life is a series of transitions. Right now I've got a pile of winter clothes that need to be put away. Before long there will be a pile of summer clothes. Right now we're getting ready to transition Owen to Pre K. But before I know it we'll be getting ready to transition Lily into college. Life is a series of transitions. And those transitions happen faster than we realize. James 4:14 says, "What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." Sounds pretty transitory to me.
So here's the point--we can either fight against these transitions or we can embrace them and make the most of them. We can realize that this transition, this life we live, isn't going to last forever. And we can seek to make the most of it. Charles Spurgeon said, "God gives His people life, not as the clock ticks, but as He helps them to serve Him; and He can make them to live much in a short space of time." I don't know how long I'll be a misty appearance on this earth. I don't know what transitions I have before me. But what I do know is this: I won't be here forever. So I need to make the most of the time God has given me. And I need to realize that this world is not my home. I've been made for a different home. A home where I'll find eternal rest and eternal joy in the presence of the One who loved me and gave Himself for me. May our lives be lived for His glory. And may the transitions remind us of our temporary stay here.
Father, thank You for the gift of life. Thank You for the gift of time. And thank You for the gift of transitions in our lives. You use these to gently remind us that our time here is short, and that this world is not our home. Help us to live passionately, to embrace the life You've given us--but help us also to hold to it loosely, knowing that we are here but for a moment. Help that moment be used to bring great honor to Your name. Amen.