Last week during the weekend church service, we learnt about the transition generation where we are constantly moving in between various seasons of our life – from summer to autumn to winter and to spring. We also learned about the 5th season that many of us may not recognise – the transition season, which is why I love this picture because the season is just like the empty space right in between each season.
What is the transition season like? It is probably the most confusing and frustrating season that we have to go through in life, because very often it is marked by simply… nothing much. We are neither here nor there. We are not in summer season where we have lots to do nor autumn season where we are enjoying the fruits of our labor. We are not in winter season when circumstances are cold and down nor spring season when life picks up with many new things. Basically there’s really nothing much and we are just waiting for things to happen. To top it off, people in this season are very often neglected because we are not doing so bad that others would take notice and at the same time, not doing so good that many others want to celebrate with us.
Recently, I have been pondering… Many times we are asked “how are you doing?” and the answer we are expected and socially attuned to give are statements like “I’m fine”, “Not so well” or my favourite “Okay”. But social expectations aside, truth be told, many of us are probably in the region of not doing so fantastic where butterflies and rainbows are singing for us everyday and at the same time, not doing so horribly that we are dragging ourselves through the mud and the whole world is against us. So, for a period of time, I decided that I would go with just “So-So” for the question, which is also kinda like “50-50”.
That said, when we talk about the transition season, the one story that came to me was the story of Joshua who crossed over into the Promised Land but just before he conquered Jericho.
Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”
Joshua came out of the Wilderness and into the Promised Land. That is like going from winter into spring, where God is going to do something new in our life. But right smack before his first conquest, God spoke to Joshua to march around Jericho for six days and on the seventh day to march around seven times, leading to the triumph. What we may not be aware is that the walls of Jericho were probably less than 1km in distance, which meant that Joshua had to lead an entire army to walk less than 1km around Jericho once a day for six days. Imagine what they would have been like – They make preparations early in the morning, set out to Jericho, walk for probably about 15 minutes and that’s it for the day. Talk about simply nothing much.
The six days around Jericho were pretty much nothing much, just like a transition season. But yet, that transition season laid the foundation for the seventh day when they had to multiply their efforts seven times. That transition season taught them to trust in the faithfulness of God. That transition season allowed God to test them right before the greatest victory they had ever seen before for an entire generation.
So, what do we do in our transition season? The Huffington Post gave 5 Tips For Getting Through A Major Period Of Transition:
1. Accept the change
2. Find time for reflection
3. Take it one day at a time
4. Find a mentor
5. Learn to be an optimist
To add on the list, as a Christian, how do we go through a transition season?
1. Find time to seek the Lord
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
2. Connect with people who matters
Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
3. Take time to reflect on God’s goodness
If I’m sleepless at midnight, I spend the hours in grateful reflection. Because you’ve always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play. I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post
4. Encourage someone in need
The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue, So I know how to encourage tired people. He wakes me up in the morning, Wakes me up, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders.
5. Exercise patiences in everything, and I mean EVERYTHING
There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary – we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
We must realise at the end of the day, in all transition seasons, Romans 5:3 will always hold true – THERE’S MORE TO COME even when there’s pretty much nothing much.