Friday, May 10, 2013

Transitions: A Reflection and Prayer

I am sitting in my office on a day book-ended with notable transitions.  Earlier this morning, I conducted a graveside service for a woman who was raised and lived in this community for several years.  She had not lived her for sometime, however her wishes were to return "home" for her burial.  The service was small, yet meaningful as those who cared for this woman said their goodbyes and hoped for the day when they will see her again.

Later today, I will part of another transition, although merely as a spectator.  I will be on stage and looking at an audience, yet my participation will be as a silent, smiling observer.  As is common among religious and faith-based educational institutions, we will have a baccalaureate service for our graduating seniors.  It is their last time to worship as a student of this university, and it is our chance to offer a parting blessing to them as they leave us to enter professions across throughout the world.  

Transitions are part of life.  We transition from an apartment to a home.  We transition from one career to another.  We transition from being providers to being provided for.  We transition from being married to being widowed.  Transitions are part of life.  We may ignore them or rebuff them, yet they are there and we must respect them.  Yet this does not mean that all transitions are painful.  Some, even if they bring sorrow, are productive and even healing.  

Just as birds must leave the nest in order to learn to fly, we often must transition from one phase of life to another in order to mature and live a productive life.  To that end, I offer this prayer for all those who are going through a transition in their lives, especially those who are finishing a chapter of their educational journey.  May this bring you comfort on this weekend.

Father God, Giver and Sustainer of Life,

We approach Your throne this day and ask that You give blessing to all those who are facing a transition in their lives.  Growing hurts, yet we know that there is purpose in pain.  Saying goodbye hurts, yet we are hopeful for the next hello.  Chapters end, yet new chapters begin.  In this time when so many are enduring a transition, whether it is with a job or school or family, we ask that You bring blessing, comfort, and direction to those seeking Your will and Your presence.  We trust that You will lead us where You want to go, and we hope in Your faithfulness to us as we are faithful to You.  May Your grace and mercy cover us!

In Christ's name, Amen

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