What do you leave behind?

This is a post from Arthur Burk, Sapphire Leadership Group and it may resonate for some. Transition is always a tricky time and doing it well takes work for everyone concerned; intentionally moving in grace and allowing for these points of missed communiciation, old assumptions, the clash of old and new yet holding on to move through to a new place for all involved. O often find his writing thought provoking and hope this helps with the journey.

“Our seminar in Innsbruck about transition plowed some deep ground. One of the concepts that landed with a jolt was the issue of what you leave behind during a transition.
There are many classic stories.

-Peter, Andrew, James and John left their businesses.

-Matthew left his government post.
-Abraham initially refused to leave his family behind.
-God forced him to part ways from Ishmael in order to focus on Isaac’s season.
-Noah had to leave hundreds of relatives behind.
-Lot’s wife was to emotionally leave the city behind.
-Paul routinely left tiny, new congregations behind with no pastor.

One of the most emotionally gripping transitions involving leaving things behind was Jesus’ arrest, trial and death.

None of the apostles were up to speed yet. None of them could grasp the meaning or magnificence of the ghastly events about to follow. The three best could not even stay awake in the Garden of Gethsemane.

But the task Jesus had to do was utterly time sensitive. There could be no delay. He could not wait to explain one more time. He could not take even one or two along with Him. He had to walk away from three years of intense investment and move into the next season absolutely alone.

All of us have made many transitions. The first one, birth, involved our being violently yanked from the place that had represented peace, comfort and security for all of our existence. There would be no return under any circumstances.

Then we were permanently cut off from the only source of life we had ever known – the umbilical cord. It would never be put back.

The plan was for us to thrive in a different environment of loving arms and safe beds, and to avail ourselves of a new source of nutrition – milk.

Most babies make the transition OK. They are able to leave what needs to be left and to receive the new construct and new resources, carrying on with the very different season of life on the outside.

Some are so traumatized by the transition they reject their mother, blaming her for the disruption they have experienced. When the breast is offered, the child refuses. When love is offered, the child rejects it.

In the end, the refusal to accept the transition from the old to the new can be hugely detrimental to the child.

The same is true for us.

The fact that there has been violence, injustice or shame involved in our transition from one season to another can cause us to become obsessed with making right the wrong, instead of looking for the new resources that belong in the new season.

The fact that we have lost entire communities that were our primary source of emotional life can cause us to become so fixated on the emptiness in our lives that we do not lean into the new – and different – community in the new season that God is trying to transition us into.

The harshness with which the old sources of financial support were ripped away from us can keep us from receiving an alternative, very different form of sustenance in the new season.

Tragically, we often make a transition much harder than it really needs to be by relentlessly blaming the devil for this or that, instead of resolutely looking forward, seeking to find the new resources God has put in place.
It might be worth your time to revisit some of your past transitions and see if you can come to peace with what was SUPPOSED to be left behind.

By Arthur Burk
March 2017″

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