“Life Is One Big Transition!”

Did you wake up this morning and say to yourself, “I can’t wait to go through some transition today that will transform my life.”? Maybe you touted, “come on change I’m ready for you!” No? Well, I am sometimes caught off guard by the complexities of life’s transitions whether I have planned them or not. It is interesting to me that the one thing that seems to be a constant in life is change and transition. It surprises me even more that transition can be messy or glorious. I believe God puts His fingerprint on the everyday things in our life and reveals how to do life His way.

For some time, I have looked up to those folks who participate in the physical and mental challenge known as triathlons. As a bystander, it is easy to focus on the intense training that includes swimming, biking and running for what seems like inhuman distances. There is another component of this sport that is practiced diligently and many bystanders may not realize the importance of it. It is called, “transition”.

Webster’s definition of transition is “an act of passing from one state or place to another, that results in transformation”.

The Triathlete is transformed from a swimmer, to a biker, and finally to a runner during a triathlon. My favorite spot to watch a triathlon is at the transition point. There the swimmer emerges from the 1.2 mile swim, finds their bike among hundreds and begins the process of taking off the swim cap, (and in some cases a wet suit, that is particularly difficult) and dons their biking shoes and jump on their bike and they are off as fast as they can go. Oh, did I mention that all that takes place in the middle of sometimes hundreds of other athletes doing the same thing? It is wild! In addition, at a safe distance teams, friends, families and fans are yelling and rooting on, in many cases total strangers, during this transition time. As the bikers head off for the 56 mile ride we bystanders wait to see who will return to this transition point first, and wonder what shape they will be in. Sure enough, when the first bikes return over the horizon, the cheers begin and the excitement mounts. As the bikers approach, many of them are already off their bikes and barefooted as the transition to runner begins. The bike is parked, running shoes grabbed and put on, sometimes water is being doused over the head as the transformation to “runner” is complete and the 13.1 mile run begins.

If you are wondering why these athletes train so hard for these transitions, it’s because it is timed as part of the race. Being a bystander I have often wondered what the athlete’s mindset is as they approach this transition point. Are they enthused at the possibility of switching to another event, maybe their strongest event? Are they looking with dread as they are about to change the rhythm they are currently in? There are so many possibilities and so it is when we make transitions in life.

Transition is inevitable in life. The transformation we experience through it is up to us. How do we manage life’s transitions?  In the next edition, we will discuss how to train for “life’s” transitions. Until then, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2