Do you remember those timeline assignments in elementary school? They were usually part of a history or social studies assignment and the purpose was to place historical events in sequencial, chronological order. I remember a long piece of butcher paper rolled across the length of the classroom floor at Hanford Christian School. Each student was given a particular event in American History and were supposed to place their event on the timeline, as well as draw a picture that depicted the event. My drawing anxiety notwithstanding, I do member a sense of pride seeing my entry on the timeline stretched high above the chalk boards on that long, long piece of paper. It’s purpose was to remind us that history isn’t a collection of static or isolated events, but a ceaseless flow of people and events over time.
But now that I think of it….timelines can also be deceptive. There may be 20 or 50 or 100 years between important events, depending on the timeline. What happened to all that “lost” time? People didn’t cease to exist, and events that still served to shape our lives didn’t cease to happen…..so what was all that “in-between” stuff?
T r a n s i t i o n!
Unlike the paper timeline that shows major historical events, our lives are lived ever so much more for us in the day to day transitions that take us from where we’ve been to where we’re going. It’s why a mother whoses children are now adults feels the need to encourage a young mom to “cherish every moment”, even as the tired, harried woman carries but one dream for her child……potty training! It’s why retired folks coach young working men and women to find a career they feel passionate about, and not just one with a big pay check. And it’s why God reminds us to consider the birds….they don’t know from day to day where the next meal is coming from, but they don’t seem worried at all.
T r a n s i t i o n….
Today I started a new job; I am no longer a church secretary and I no longer work with my best friend.
In eight weeks our daughter will graduate from college and begin her grown-up, adult life somewhere that is……not in California.
In approx. six months our son will be entering the US Navy’s Nuclear Engineering Program, first in Illinois, then off to South Carolina.
These are major events along the timeline of our family! But to me the more important events, no….the MOST important events have been all the years, days and minutes that have been lived in between the “big” things. It’s in those times of daily transition that we build our stamina, our foundation, our faith that guides us up and over the “big” bumps on the timeline. It’s all the lessons, all the prayers, all the cuddles and all the tears that create the fabric of our lives, not just the timeline-worthy things.
I don’t even have to ask if you are facing transitions today….it’s impossible for things NOT to change around us. But, with faith and God’s love and guidance, we don’t have to fear the change. We just have to become like the birds, and leave tomorrow to the One who loves us best and most.
I love the reminder from Matthew 6 below:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”